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U.S. Aquaculture’s Promise: Policy Pronouncements and Litigation Problems

October 2020

Citation: ELR 10826

Author: Eric Laschever, Katharine Byrnes, Corinne Noufi, and Kalloway Page

On May 7, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order No. 13921, Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth, stating that it is U.S. policy to “facilitate aquaculture projects through regulatory transparency and long-term strategic planning.” To further this policy, the Order directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create a nationwide permit for aquaculture operations, and tasks the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with a variety of planning- and permit-related responsibilities. This Article explores the decades-long effort to formulate a national aquaculture policy, the current regulatory framework for aquaculture planning and permitting, the court battles over these efforts, and congressional and executive responses to the litigation and the challenges and opportunities that aquaculture presents.

Eric Laschever is affiliate faculty at the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs and an environmental, natural resource, and land use attorney. Katharine Byrnes, Corinne Noufi, and Kalloway Page are graduate students at the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, where much of their work focuses on marine, coastal, and environmental issues, including aquaculture.

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