Aquaculture Magazine

February / March 2014

Aquaculture Economics, Management, and Marketing

By Carole R. Engle

Many different disciplines are important, in a variety of ways, to successful growth, development and expansion of aquaculture industries. However, when taken together economics, management, and marketing determine whether aquaculture businesses will be successful and whether industries will grow or languish. 

Too few aquaculture businesspersons and scientists understand economics and marketing on the level necessary to adapt to changing economic conditions and times. In the past, profit margins were such that businesses could survive without on-going monitoring and analysis of the farm’s business performance, but that is no longer the case for many segments of aquaculture.

I have devoted more than 30 years to studying the economics, management, and marketing of aquaculture. However, what is more important is that I have had the good fortune to work closely with aquaculture producers and businessmen throughout my career. My hope for this column is that it may provide some assistance to both established aquaculture businesses and those considering starting an aquaculture business. I welcome any and all feedback and suggestions for topics to be covered.

One of the goals for this column in its first year is to lay out a series of clear guidelines for aquaculture producers in terms of how to spot financial problems early on. Doing so can point to interventions that are less difficult than when the problems have become quite severe.

A second goal for this year is to introduce aquaculture producers and scientists to various types of economic and marketing concepts that are useful for charting an economically viable path for the business, especially during challenging economic times. Over the course of this next year, individual columns will discuss the following topics: 1) the three pillars of financial success for aquaculture businesses; 2) a checklist of financial health for aquaculture businesses; 3) profitability: are you evaluating it correctly?; 4) world and U.S. demand and supply relationships for seafood: implications for aquaculture producers; and 5) guidelines for selecting the appropriate type of marketing strategy for your aquaculture business: what are the trade-offs among various alternative strategies?

Carole  R. Engle

Carole R. Engle

 Carole Engle is an Aquaculture Economist with more than 30 years of experience in the analysis of economics and marketing issues related to aquaculture businesses.  She has worked in 19 different countries on all major continents.  She has published over 100 scientific articles, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society and the Journal of Applied Aquaculture and is the Editor-in-Chief of Aquaculture Economics and Management.  She is a past-President of the U.S. Aquaculture Society and the International Association of Aquaculture Economics and Management.  Honors include receiving the McCraren Award from the National Aquaculture Association (received this award twice), Researcher of the Year from the Catfish Farmers of America, Distinguished Service Award from the Catfish Farmers of Arkansas and the Catfish Farmers of America, and the Harvey McGeorge Award of Distinguished Contributions to Agriculture.

Engle holds a B.A. degree in Biology/Rural Development from Friends World College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Auburn University where she specialized in aquaculture economics.  Engle currently directs the Aquaculture/Fisheries Center and chairs the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.  She continues her research and extension efforts in the economics and marketing of aquaculture with particular emphasis on identifying farm management strategies that enhance efficiency and profitability.  Current research initiatives include analysis of triggers of technology adoption in aquaculture industries, economics of alternative aquaculture production systems, and measurement of the economic effects of increased regulatory burden and constraints on U.S. aquaculture.

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