Aquaculture North America

Aquaculture economics pioneer Eugene Y.C. Shang dies

April 19, 2023
By Matt Jones

Dr. Eugene Y.C. Shang wrote the first aquaculture economics textbook and was considered a pioneer in his field.

On Feb. 20, Eugene Y.C. Shang passed away, surrounded by family in Sacramento, California. Shang was well-known for his work as an emeritus professor of agricultural and resource economics at University of Hawai’i at Mãnoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

Dr. PingSun Leung, also of the University of Hawai’i, says that Shang’s contributions to the field were immense.

“Dr. Shang envisioned the importance of aquaculture economic research and education during the early stage of global aquaculture development,” says Leung. “He conducted and published several research studies in these early days but most significantly he published the first text in this area. In addition, he established the International Association of Aquaculture Economics and Management (IAAEM) that is carrying on his vision of promoting aquaculture economics research and education.”

Shang was a significant influence on aquaculture economists who followed, perhaps none more than Leung himself who currently serves as director at large with the IAAEM and co-authored a paper on Shang’s contributions in 2003. Included in that paper is a transcript of an interview with Shang where he expresses pride in how his research efforts have shaped this sector of aquaculture economic academia.


“Many government agencies now realize the importance of aquaculture economic studies, and more economists are participating in economic studies in aquaculture,” said Shang. “These economic studies have identified problems and helped aquaculture develop in the right direction. I hope that my earlier influences will continue, and my books and published papers will be still useful for some people.”

Asked how the aquaculture discipline might best be developed as it moves forward, Shang suggested that a sustainable industry is the goal of future development.

“The industry should be bio-technically feasible, socio-economically viable and environmentally sound,” said Shang.

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