Shellfish Aquaculture in Puget Sound in Light of Washington's Coastal Marine Spatial Planning
Cardinal, Kara Mia
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The shellfish growing industry in the Puget Sound region of Washington State greatly depends on the health of the marine waters, and is therefore considerably invested in coastal management issues and protection of state waters. The industry has overcome many challenges throughout its existence in Washington, and is currently facing many new and even unknown challenges to growth and sustainability. The purpose of this study is to define and evaluate different tools and strategies from around the world that may be integrated into Washington's proposed coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) management framework. There are four main goals of this study. The first is to identify the current major barriers that face the commercial shellfish industry in Puget Sound. Through literature review, workshop attendance, and discussions with stakeholders, the barriers identified include: Regulatory and permitting process, water quality, conflicting uses and public perceptions. The second goal is to investigate, through various international case studies, how marine policy frameworks from around the world may address these barriers. Evaluated tools include examples from case studies from the European Union, Ireland, France, Sweden, and Australia. The third goal is to explore how CMSP, which has recently been proposed as a marine management strategy for Washington State, and its objectives address these barriers to the Puget Sound shellfish industry and the important user conflicts that come into play. The final goal is to assess opportunities for improvement for how Washington's CMSP framework may integrate these new tools and practices from around the world. It is important to note that the framework used in this study can also be tailored to evaluate management strategies for many different ocean and coastal sectors and uses. Preliminary recommendations for CMSP in Washington include adapting community-based approaches for spatial management, focusing in on a shoreline, bay or watershed scope, increasing stakeholder involvement, improving communication and outreach strategies, and ensuring transparency and legitimacy through the entire implementation process.
- Marine affairs