Legal and permitting issues are consistently ranked as a critical impediment to domestic aquaculture development. The shellfish industry is growing in coastal areas, which are home to more than half of the population of the continental United States. A variety of legal conflicts can arise as states seek to encourage the development and expansion of shellfish aquaculture. The regulatory landscape facing the aquaculture industry can also be confusing and complicated.
In 2017, the National Sea Grant College Program funded a multi-institutional, national collaboration to examine impediments to shellfish aquaculture across the United States. In collaboration with shellfish industry members and the wider Sea Grant network, the Project Team identified eight priority legal and policy barriers or success stories that would benefit from the development of case studies.