Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Virginia Institute of Marine Science


A nationwide survey of shellfish mariculturists was used in conjunction with a literature review and review of state and federal laws and regulations, to identify impediments to commercial shellfish mariculture development. The results of the survey and reviews were utilized to identify likely impediments to commercial shellfish mariculture in Virginia and to develop recommendations to address the identified impediments, should Virginia wish to pursue efforts to enhance development of this industry. This study suggests there are state laws, regulations, and policies which act as impediments to commercial shellfish mariculture development in Virginia. Mar,y of the identified regulatory impediments result from the applicability of laws and regulations designed to manage and protect the natural resources and more traditional uses of the coastal zone. Because this study relies heavily on subjective input from individuals representing the mariculture industry and did not involve individuals who may have attempted to enter the industry and failed, it may not accurately identify all of the actual impediments to the industry's development. However, the study should provide valuable input into any comprehensive state effort to enhance shellfish mariculture development in the Commonwealth of Virginia.



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