Aquaculture is heralded as a way of helping to feed a growing global population by supplementing supplies of wild-sourced seafood. Australian aquaculture has the potential to become a $1 billion per year industry and to provide employment needed in some rural areas. However, concerns about aquaculture have led to disputes about the industry's access to highly valued marine and coastal environments. The lack of research on this topic has confounded efforts to build a more socially acceptable and sustainable aquaculture industry. This research used key stakeholder interviews and a household mail survey to reveal differences in perceptions of aquaculture risks. Community groups (particularly conservation), ecotourism industries, researchers, some state and local government staff, and informed members of the general public were more likely to focus on aquaculture's risks, and seek improvements in aquaculture planning and management to substantially reduce those risks and make the industry more acceptable to diverse interests.