Ecology and economics of shellfish aquaculture

Ecology and Economics of Shellfish Aquaculture in Washington State

In 2013, the Washington State Legislature directed and funded WSG to initiate a shellfish aquaculture research program. The purpose of the program is to assess possible negative and positive effects, including cumulative and economic impacts, of evolving Washington shellfish aquaculture practices.

Principal Investigator

Jon Reum, Washington Sea Grant

Co-Principal Investigators

Kevin Decker, Washington Sea Grant

Bridget Ferriss, Washington Sea Grant

Sean McDonald, UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

Wei Cheng, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean

Neil Banas, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean

Chris Harvey, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center


In collaboration with federal, state, tribal, and private partners, researchers have cultured tested, genotyped, WSG engaged a group of scientific experts to develop recommendations for program research components and to select a team of investigators to carry out the shellfish aquaculture research program. A peer-reviewed scope of work was completed in early 2014, calling for the research team to use modeling approaches and available data to complete pilot studies for Willapa Bay and Central and South Puget Sound. Five program components are now underway: spatial analysis, qualitative food web analyses, Puget Sound ecosystem and circulation models, and an economic synthesis. Full details of the program thus far can be found in the Interim Progress Report.