Aquaculture development and environmental issues in the tropical Pacific.

Commercial aquaculture in Oceania is currently restricted to the red alga Eucheuma sp., the blacklip pearl oyster, Pinctada margaritifera and penaeid shrimp, principally Penaeus monodon. There have been numerous attempts to cultivate exotic species of bivalves, crustaceans and fish, many of which have been unsuccessful in terms of aquaculture but which have resulted in wild stocks of the exotic species becoming established. Owing to a paucity of knowledge of the natural composition and dynamics of the aquatic communities, the effects of the exotic species on these communities are largely unknown. Few physical or chemical changes in the environment of Oceania are attributable to aquaculture but it is clear that the coral reefs and lagoons which make up the principal nearshore biotopes are sensitive to environmental perturbations and care will need to be taken to ensure that future developments in giant clam cultivation, reef and lagoon ranching systems and cage cultivation of finfish or crustaceans do not lead to environmental degradation. Almost all introductions of exotic species or transfers of indigenous species have been of unquarantined stocks with concomitant dangers of the introduction or spread of pathogens, parasites and predators.


Munro, J.L. (1993)
ICLARM Conf. Proc. (31): 125-138