Stakeholders is a term that includes people with an interest or concern regarding something. The term has been criticised because of the image of someone hanging onto their “stake” till the bitter end. Stakeholders in aquaculture development include:
- the developer i.e. the commercial entity that proposes the development who may be supported by an association or producers organisation
- The planning authority
- Statutory consultees of the planning authority – these may include environmental regulators, animal health and hygiene regulators or conservation bodies: in some jurisdictions these can be several of these. Although they are often not based locally they will in general have some interest local to the development.
- The public with interests local to the development.
- The general public and NGOs who may have no local interest per se but may have strong opinions relating to the development, for example, in terms of cumulative effects.
Engaging with stakeholders has shown to identify research gaps and direct the focus of policy briefs as well as provide a forum for communication between science research, industry, policy-makers, and local communities Weaver et al (2015).