Following the need for space, the second major constraint affecting the aquaculture industry is the understanding of the complexity of life-cycles, and processes of the organisms in question. Many marine organisms go through a complex series of larval stages, each requiring different surrounding conditions and food requirements prior to reaching marketable size. To rear each form successfully is often costly, challenging and not even currently possible in captivity.
This has led to the importing of young fish into the aquaculture industry , which brings with it its own potential dangers. This introduction of “foreign” individuals is seen to be one of the primary threats to native biodiversity around the world (Bax et al., 2003; Minchin, 2007). Invasive species can take the form of microbial life, fish pathogens, juvenile invertebrates, molluscs, crustaceans, and fish, each of which is capable of creating immense damage through biofouling cages and other structures.
With the developing understanding stemming from scientific research, these risks are being minimised, but are still a long way off from being completely eradicated.