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With growing pressures on global fisheries to provide more and more product than is readily available, the aquaculture or mariculture industry has become more and more prominent in recent years.

Between 2002 and 2012, the farming of finfish and shellfish has been expanding at a rate of 6.1% annually, with the global industry having an estimated value of $137.7 billion.  As of 2014 the Irish industry alone accounts for €115 million.  This increase means that human demand does not have to be limited by ocean productivity.

However, there are many constraints placed upon aquaculture that can become issues for the coastal communities involved in aquaculture production. These constraints include: space, complexity of life-cycles, spread of disease, and environmental impacts.