A publication of AAEA

A publication of AAEA
The Economics of U.S. Aquaculture

The Economics of U.S. Aquaculture

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Theme Overview: The Economics of U.S. Aquaculture

Trey Malone and Richard T. Melstrom

Aquaculture production is growing, but production in the United States is growing less rapidly than in the rest of the world. Choices is featuring articles on social and economic issues in U.S. aquaculture.

The Economics of United States Aquaculture Data Visualization

Jessie Marshall, Trey Malone, and Richard T. Melstrom

U.S. seafood demand is dynamic, increasing by 41% from 1990 to 2018, and requiring 6 million tons of imported edible seafood by 2018. Indeed, about half of all seafood production comes from aquaculture production, making it a key source of income and food security for many countries. Aquaculture’s contribution to U.S. domestic seafood production has increased to $1.51 billion in total U.S. aquaculture sales in 2018, though domestic production growth has lagged relative to the growth of imports. One possible reason for sluggish growth in aquaculture production is the number of regulatory burdens as the total number of regulatory restrictions in U.S. aquaculture supply chains has increased dramatically, with South Dakota having the fewest and California having the most. That said, regulatory burdens are likely to have their roots in environmental and food safety concerns, as 62% of consumers rank safety as the most important attribute when purchasing seafood while only 22% rank farm raised as very important.

Fisheries, Hatcheries, and Aquaculture—What’s the Difference?

Titus S. Seilheimer, Emma Wiermaa, and Lauren N. Jescovitch

Fish are an important protein source globally and in the Great Lakes region. They can be caught in the wild (fisheries) or grown in a controlled environment (aquaculture). We provide a brief overview of similarities and differences between these industries.

The Growth of Imports in U.S. Seafood Markets

Eric Abaidoo, Max Melstrom, and Trey Malone

Imports remain important in meeting seafood demand in the United States. This article describes the U.S. transition to a major seafood importer by emphasizing three key trends: overall growth in seafood demand, the lagged growth in U.S. aquaculture production, and key consumer market niches captured by international aquaculture producers.

Aquaculture Markets in the Twenty-First Century

Kwamena K. Quagrainie and Amy M. Shambach

Global seafood supply from aquaculture has increased significantly from the late twentieth century and currently accounts for over half of total seafood supply for human consumption. Consumer attitudes, preferences, health, safety, and environmental concerns are driving increased standardization, verification and certification, and other informational programs for seafood in the marketplace.

Go FISH: U.S. Seafood Consumers Seek Freshness, Information, Safety, and Health Benefits

Simone Valle de Souza, Kwamena Quagrainie, William Knudson, and April Athnos

Fish—a healthy source of protein—has the most efficient feed conversion ratio in animal production, making it a good candidate to supply a fast-growing demand for protein sources. This study describes U.S. consumers’ preferences that favor domestic industry growth with consumers seeking fresh, safe, and healthier U.S.-produced seafood, including indigenous species.

Voices from the Industry: Aquaculture Producers in the Midwestern United States

J. Stuart Carlton, Amy Shambach, and Haley A. Hartenstine

Aquaculture producers struggle to run profitable businesses in the face of challenging market conditions. In this case study, we report on a series of qualitative interviews of aquaculture producers in the Midwest to better understand their views on business expansion, product pricing, and regulation in this complicated industry.

Regulatory Landscape of the U.S. Aquaculture Supply Chain

Aaron J. Staples, Eric Abaidoo, Lauren N. Jescovitch, Dustin Chambers, Richard T. Melstrom, and Trey Malone

Food law protects consumers and supports environmental safeguards, but at what cost? We examine the claim that U.S. aquaculture is “over-regulated” using a dataset that captures regulatory restrictions across the supply chain. Results show a 400% increase in restrictions since 1970 and significant heterogeneity in state supply chain management.