Published 2023

Read in Norwegian

Publication details

Journal : Reviews in Aquaculture , vol. 16 , p. 775–784–0 , 2023

Publisher : John Wiley & Sons

International Standard Numbers :
Printed : 1753-5123
Electronic : 1753-5131

Publication type : Academic literature review

Contributors : Robinson, Nicholas Andrew; Østbye, Tone-Kari K.; Kettunen, Anne Helena; Coates, Andrew; Barrett, Luke T.; Robledo, Diego; Dempster, Timothy David

Issue : 2

Research areas

Farmed fish

Breeding and genetics

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Kjetil Aune
Chief Librarian


Aquaculture creates ‘aquatic foods’ such as fish, shellfish, and seaweeds that are critical for food security. Gene editing using CRISPR-Cas9 has the potential to transform aquaculture by improving animal welfare, nutritional attributes, and farming efficiency, with benefits for environmental sustainability. However, gene editing also poses risks of harm via side effects on other important traits or genetic introgression into wild populations. Public acceptance of gene edited aquatic species will rapidly erode if risk mitigation is ineffective or not applied. Here, we review the benefits and risks for gene editing in aquaculture. A general framework for risk–benefit analysis of gene editing in aquaculture is proposed, incorporating nine key considerations: genetic impacts, ecological impacts, disease risk mitigation, nature of edit, supply chain environmental footprint, animal welfare, human nutrition, ethical business implications and impacts on local communities. When applied on a case-by-case basis, the framework will help identify how gene editing of a farmed species can most enhance production and nutritional benefits while minimising harms to animal welfare, the environment, and society.


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