Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Wildlife and Fisheries Resources

Committee Chair

Jerald J. Fletcher.


This case study was designed and presented to allow a "reader-friendly" environment for aquaculture industry inquiry, specifically to pertain to West Virginia's recent surge in industry development. The sample for this thesis consisted of aquaculture producing states located within the continental U.S. The research design was qualitative descriptive that evaluated the legislative environments for each state aquaculture industry to ultimately pass recommendations for West Virginia. Of the states surveyed, it was found that 26 states enacted development acts for respective industries; 19 states were found to further develop with strategic plans. The greatest constraint discovered during this project was a lack of credible, consistent information. Not only does the U.S. aquaculture industry require more working manuscripts such as this case study, but also the U.S. Agriculture sector as a whole must strive to better inform its members and public alike.;Like the majority of the states surveyed for this case study, West Virginia has accomplished multiple achievements during its quest to develop its aquaculture industry. Having completed a legislative development act, additional work towards an on-going strategic plan should be the next goal for the State. While many question the place of regulation in state agricultural activities, a general theme must be remembered. Regulation acknowledges and protects a given industry, such as aquaculture, and it provides a foundational framework by which a respective industry can prosper competitively. In closing, research that frames regulation's impact on agricultural pursuits, such as aquaculture, must be the focus for the future as increasing domestic production must occur to meet a growing demand for sustenance.