This article traces the development of U.S. aquaculture supply chain regulatory restrictions and discusses the factors that could be driving the recent growth in regulations. Using Mercatus Center RegData, results suggest that the number of restrictions across the aquaculture supply chain has increased by ~400% over the past half-century. The majority of the regulatory growth has been imposed on aquaculture producers. Potential explanations for this growth in regulatory restrictions include:
- An increasing body of federal law [e.g., Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011] and a complex, interconnected global economy
- Concerns regarding effluent discharge and waste disposal.
- Concerns over disease propagation from farmed aquatic animals to wild species through water discharge or escapements
Additional empirical studies that causally isolate the impacts of aquaculture regulations are needed to evaluate the regulatory burden across the aquaculture supply chain, but we do see preliminary evidence of an increasingly stringent regulatory environment.
Staples, A. J., Abaidoo, E., Jescovitch, L. N., Chambers, D., Melstrom, R. T., & Malone, T. (2021). Regulatory landscape of the U.S. aquaculture supply chain. Choices, 36(4). link.