Aquaculture economics pioneer Eugene Y.C. Shang died on February 20, 2023, surrounded by his family in Sacramento, California. Shang was an emeritus professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).
Shang first joined UH in 1964 with the Economic Research Center. In 1974, he moved to the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology to better pursue his interest in fisheries and marine economics. He later transferred to CTAHR’s former Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in 1980 and retired in 1995.
“Dr. Shang is considered the “father of aquaculture economics” and we are indebted to him for the visionary path he paved in this area,” said PingSun Leung, emeritus professor from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management.
“Dr. Shang was a giant in the emerging field of global aquaculture economics and the preeminent authority on the subject in the Pacific Region,” added John Corbin, former program manager of Hawaiʻi’s Aquaculture Development Program. “Though his expertise was in great demand by organizations outside of Hawaiʻi, he always found the time to work with the State aquaculture program to help us better understand the local costs of production and market dynamics. His unassuming and friendly manner in sharing his extensive knowledge with colleagues and students made him a much sought after advisor and a pleasure to work with on projects.”
Shang published the first textbook in aquaculture economics in 1981. As a pioneer, educator and researcher in this field, he was well-known and well-regarded in Hawaiʻi, as well as nationally and internationally. He was highly sought after by international agencies, such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Program and International Development Research Center of Canada.
In 1993, Shang founded the International Association of Aquaculture Economics and Management (IAAEM) and served as its president until his retirement. IAAEM is the only international organization devoted entirely to the promotion of socioeconomic research and education in aquaculture. It also publishes its own journal, Aquaculture Economics and Management, which honored Shang’s pioneering work in a special issue.
“I was shocked and sad to receive news of Dr. Shang’s departure a few hours after he passed away in the morning of the Presidential Day,” said Cheng-Sheng Lee, executive director of the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture. “He definitely will be missed by colleagues and friends. As a senior to me from Taiwan, he is my colleague, friend and mentor. He has been a role model to me as well as other researchers. He is soft spoken, calm and a most respectful researcher by many colleagues and students as well. He taught me that ‘Nothing is impossible.’”
Messages to Shang’s family may be sent to his daughter Ellen at email@example.com.