Justin Pearce

Major and Classification

Environmental Studies

Faculty Mentor

David Ginsburg, Ph.D.


Dornsife: Environmental Studies

McNair Project

“Assessing the Impacts of Policy on Aquaculture in California”

Project Abstract

As the global population continues to grow so does the demand for food. Over the last several decades the fastest growing portion of the food sector has been aquaculture. To better understand where California ranks in aquaculture production the USDA’s Aquaculture Census was used to compare and contrast the growth of aquaculture in California. State and federal aquaculture policies were also reviewed to see if they were encouraging expansion of aquaculture in California. The results show that despite California’s lengthy coastline, and high demand for seafood, its aquaculture practices fall far behind many other states. The overlapping and extensive policies in place also make the permitting process an expensive and lengthy project for any entrepreneur with interest in exploring the opportunity of fish farming in California. Without a change in current policy and practices California will continue to fall further behind, thus, limiting the state’s ability to create a local and sustainable protein source for its citizens.