The aquaculture business on the south coast of Newfoundland is booming and has slowly evolved into a half-billion-dollar industry.

Some people in Harbour Breton even say it's responsible for saving their towns from possible resettlement.

But while communities in the region are thriving, operators like Gray Aqua are struggling to keep their business afloat.

Critics question whether farming fish in open-water cages is a safe practice, saying it's possible it could harm other species that the province's economy relies on.

Check out the videos above as CBC's Mark Quinn takes a closer look at farming on the south coast of the island, and the ups and downs the industry is experiencing.