The continued growth in mariculture efficiency in China is vital in ensuring that the country will continue to be the primary source of its own food in the 21st century. A large gap exists between the input and output of mariculture in China’s coastal provinces. Hence, methods to improve mariculture efficiency can be developed by analyzing provincial differences and dynamic changes in mariculture efficiency. These methods are important in solving China’s food security problems. This study uses the super-slacks-based measure model and global Malmquist index to measure the mariculture efficiency scores and their changes in China’s nine coastal provinces from 2004 to 2016. Results suggest that the mariculture efficiencies in Guangxi, Hainan, Fujian, Shandong, and Guangdong are higher than those in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Liaoning, and Hebei. The mariculture efficiency in China increased by 6.45% from 2004 to 2016, and technological progress was the main driving force for this. The authors combine the results with the mariculture characteristics in each province and present the following findings: (1) mariculture scale affects mariculture efficiency; (2) efficient mariculture relies on a good marine ecosystem; (3) policy adjustments significantly affect the development of mariculture; (4) the key to improving mariculture efficiency is enhancing mariculture technology.
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