The Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA), shows several benefits, such as:
- reducing the ecological impacts near aquaculture operations,
- improving social perceptions of aquaculture,
- to provide financial benefits for aquaculture producers via product diversification, faster production cycles and price premiums on IMTA products.
Knowler and his colleagues in this paper, review aspects of IMTA’s economic potential and market acceptance. They find that adopting IMTA raises the "assimilative capacity" of the farm and reduces the environmental cost of aquaculture, subsequently. Moreover, integrating extractive species (e.g. invertebrates and/or seaweeds), with existing fed-monoculture operations, and increase farm profits. They bring out the presence of positive public attitudes towards IMTA, as a willingness to pay a premium for its products, can further increase the profitability of adopting IMTA. They also suggest fields requiring more economic research are the development of comparative bioeconomic models of IMTA and the evaluation of competitive production systems in order to demonstrate the true value of IMTA to society. In addition, they highlight the need for economic incentives, to foster adoption of IMTA, and the investigation of marketing opportunities, such as the eco-certification of IMTA products.
Their paper aims to inform economists and non-economists alike about the latest developments in IMTA economics and encourage further research on critical topics concerning this important subject.