Washington Shellfish Aquaculture: Assessment of the Current Regulatory Frameworks
Evrard, Raye Ophelia
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The Washington shellfish aquaculture regulatory framework is a complex instrument with numerous permits and high agency involvement. Shellfish business owners, industry officials and policy-makers look to simplify the overall process by reducing paperwork and permit redundancies. In the past, the Washington aquaculture sector held a close relationship with the Washington Department of Agriculture, and policy-makers are again assessing a closer future relationship, aiding in regulatory efficiency. The purpose of this study is to locate sources of inefficiency within the shellfish aquaculture regulatory framework and supply new ideas for future policy-making based on an aquaculture regulatory framework proposed by Takoukam and Erikstein (2013). There are four main objectives to this study. The first is to identify barriers within the regulatory framework from the federal scale to the county level restricting the Washington shellfish industry. Through scientific and governmental literature reviews, and information from conference attendance, these barriers are identified. The second objective is to showcase current programs addressing regulatory barriers in aquaculture. Current programs are the Shellfish Interagency Permitting Team, the Pacific Aquaculture Caucus, and the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association. The third objective is to compare the regulatory framework for aquaculture based on the Washington agriculture framework. I used the Washington agriculture program as a template to assess how aquaculture can meet the regulatory goals set forth by Takoukam and Erikstein (2013). The Florida Aquaculture program, which is a combined Aquaculture-Agriculture regulatory department, is used to illustrate a closer relationship between the two divisions. The final objective is to assess the future of Washington aquaculture based on information provided through the first three objectives. Preliminary recommendations for the Washington regulatory framework are to shift regulatory work to county level officials, limit the number of government agencies involved, reduce review periods, and increase regulatory transparency on county and state levels.
- Marine affairs