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Keywords:

  • aquaculture;
  • feed fish;
  • break-even price;
  • conversion factor;
  • tuna fattening

Abstract

Key to the economic viability of offshore aquaculture in California is whether or not the revenues available after the costs of all other inputs have been covered are sufficient to cover the costs of the feed fish required. To investigate this, we calculated the break-even price of feed fish by: fixing the share of the farmed fish price representing the unit costs of the non-feed inputs; fixing the amount of feed fish needed per unit of farmed fish production; and varying the price of the farmed species. We found that the recent ex-vessel prices of five potential feed fish caught off California were below the calculated break-even price corresponding to the expected market price for candidate aquaculture species. While the California landings of these five species individually can be quite volatile, there would seem to be sufficient supplies in total to make offshore aquaculture in California economically viable.