The economic impact of regulations on shellfish and trout aquaculture growth in the western United States

US aquaculture farms grapple with the multifaceted and often overwhelming set of regulations, resulting in a convoluted chain of approval processes. The consequent economic effects on West Coast shellfish and US trout farms were explored via a survey collecting data on the measures farms undertake to comply with these laws and their associated costs. The study was expanded nationwide thanks to assistance from the US Trout Farmers Association and USDA-APHIS due to its significance.

The findings showed an increase in costs owing to local, state, federal, and federally mandated state regulations, identifying those that impose most significant economic burdens on US trout/salmon and shellfish farms on the West Coast. These insights offered a basis for refining regulatory procedures, reducing on-farm regulatory stress, and foster sustainable US aquaculture growth aligned with the 1980 National Aquaculture Act's objectives.

This research's impact enhanced awareness regarding the dimension of regulatory cost burdens while sparking dialogues on achieving cost reductions without compromising oversight. Aquaculture associations have employed these results in their conversations with policy makers about necessary reforms. Outputs from this project have been distributed widely, even being used to request the Environmental Protection Agency to lessen the frequency of testing for discharge.


Project Summary


University of Washington
School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195
1122 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA 98105


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