U.S. Development of Offshore Aquaculture: Regulatory, Economic, and Political Factors
Buck, Lisa E.
MetadataShow full item record
University of Washington Abstract U.S. Development of Offshore Aquaculture: Regulatory, Economic, and Political Factors Lisa E. Buck Chair of the Supervisory Committee: Professor Thomas Leschine School of Marine and Environmental Affairs Many freshwater and coastal aquaculture facilities are currently operating in the United States and contributing seafood products to domestic and global markets. These types of aquaculture have become successful industries, however that success has not yet expanded into United States federal waters. Regulatory, economic, and political factors that might explain the lack of development of an aquaculture industry in the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) beyond state waters were examined through available literature, semi-structured interviews, and case examples of offshore aquaculture development projects. Analysis showed that while economic and political factors have a definite influence on the development of offshore aquaculture, the greatest barriers to the growth of the industry in the United States are the lack of a rational and comprehensive federal regulatory framework for offshore aquaculture, and lack of explicit regulatory authority naming NOAA as the lead federal agency. Until these regulatory factors are addressed, development of offshore aquaculture in the United States will continue to be on a project-by-project and permit-by-permit basis. This case-by-case approach, by failing to address systematically important economic, political, jurisdictional, and ethical issues concerning the use of offshore waters for commercial aquaculture, is likely to continue to inhibit development of offshore aquaculture in the future. I conclude with a discussion of possible root causes for the lack of clear federal guidance with regard to offshore aquaculture, and I make recommendations for addressing the regulatory, economic and political factors that are inhibiting the development of offshore aquaculture in the United States.
- Marine affairs