Economic and market considerations
To an aquaculturist economic considerations are as important as or even more important than biological factors in the selection of species to be cultured. Many of the relevant factors have already been referred when discussing national priorities and investment requirements. The availability of proven technologies of culture, backed by economic viability, should guide an investor or an aquaculturist in the selection of a species or a culture system. Despite the scarcity of this type of information and the variability of economic returns of enterprises, it is of such crucial importance that even incomplete information from actual commercial or pilot operations would be useful in validating available experimental results.
Consumer acceptance and availability of markets for the species are very intimately interlinked with the economics of raising them. There are several instances where culture techniques were in existence for many years but never resulted in any large-scale production until new or improved markets developed, whether for domestic consumption or for export. Markets can, of course, be developed in places where none existed for a species, but this would require very considerable time and effort. Public and/or private organizations will have to undertake very intensive promotional activities to achieve this in a reasonable period of time.
The above considerations appear to be the main reasons for the widespread interest in introducing exotic species. The species concerned are generally those for which established culture technologies exist and the economics of production and marketability have been demonstrated.