Skip to main content
Sign In

University of Colorado Denver

School of Public Affairs

Aquaculture Partnerships Project




Dr. Chris Weible
University of Colorado Denver
1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 500
Campus Box 142
Denver, CO 80217

Phone: 303-315-2010
Fax: 303-315-2229

Dr. Bill Leach
Dept. of Public Policy & Administration
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6081

Phone: 916-278-5591
Fax: 916-278-6544

Graduate Students: John Calanni, Saba Siddiki and Scott Vince



Advocates of marine aquaculture tout its potential to help meet the growing global demand for seafood while providing critical economic opportunities for coastal communities.  Advocates also see the potential for aquaculture to relieve commercial pressure on wild fish stocks, and reduce the United States’ seafood trade deficit, which exceeds $8 billion per year. Critics of marine aquaculture assert that it might harm wild fish populations, pollute marine environments, produce seafood that is chemically and genetically tainted, displace fishing-dependent communities, and degrade pristine coastal views. The debate is still in its formative stages with hundreds of stakeholders from government agencies, tribes, universities, and the private sector vying to influence policy decisions.

This research project investigates ten marine aquaculture partnerships located across the coastal United States. Aquaculture partnerships are formal or informal networks of stakeholders that mainly focus on developing aquaculture policy and/or sponsoring research to guide development of the aquaculture industry. This project focuses on partnerships that include (at a minimum) participants from government agencies (local, state, federal, and/or tribal) and non-governmental entities (industry, academia, and/or environmental groups). The research will entail interviewing and surveying partnership participants, and documenting the decisionmaking process and outcomes of each partnership.


  1. Explain the effectiveness of aquaculture partnerships measured in terms of their influence on (i) social capital, (ii) learning and consensus on scientific and policy issues, (iii) formal policy agreements, (iv) policy adoption by higher authorities, and (v) projected socioeconomic and ecological outcomes.
  2. To prepare summary reports with recommendations to each partnership for more effective decision making. Recommendations will be based on comparisons of each partnership with other aquaculture partnerships and 76 watershed partnerships previously studied by the project team.  


Findings will be conveyed back to aquaculture stakeholders in person and through written recommendations tailored for each partnership. The study will contribute to our understanding of best management practices in collaborative governance, particularly for policy disputes marked by high conflict and technical uncertainty. 

National Science Foundation Grant # 0721067


Project Summary Report


 | Physical Address: 1380 Lawrence St., Ste. 500  Denver, CO  80204 | Mailing Address: University of Colorado Denver, SPA, Campus Box 142, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364 | ph: 303.315.2228 | fax: 303.315.2229 | SPA Website Feedback

University of Colorado Denver

© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.