“Wild-caught” or “Farm-raised.”
The above descriptors provide yet another conundrum facing consumers as they navigate the seafood counter at their local supermarket. Driven by increased demand, farm-raised fish or aquaculture now accounts for 50 percent of the fish consumed globally.
According to the National Ocean Service, aquaculture is breeding, raising, and harvesting fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants. In the United States, marine aquaculture produces numerous species including oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp, seaweeds, and fish such as salmon, black sea bass, sablefish, yellowtail, and pompano.
However, with this innovation come environmental and health concerns that have cast doubts in consumers’ minds as they make their purchase choices.
California Western third-year student Caleb Raspler has written a scholarly article addressing the issues surrounding aquaculture. He has received the distinction of having his paper, “The Rise of Aquaculture: Is Farmed Salmon a Healthier Alternative than Wild Salmon?” selected for publication in a forthcoming volume of the Ocean and Coastal Law Journal (OCLJ).
The OCLJ is published by second and third-year students at the University of Maine School of Law and is dedicated to facilitating discourse on legal issues related to the domestic and international use of the sea and seashores.
“My scholarly article discusses the rise of aquaculture and how it initiated environmental and human health concerns,” says Raspler. “The article specifically discusses whether farmed salmon is a healthier alternative than wild salmon and suggests tools to address concerns such as increased federal agency regulation, congressional intervention, and genetically engineered salmon.”
Raspler says he was motivated to write the article because he is passionate about environmental issues, especially those pertaining to the ocean and its marine life. He feels that his California Western experience has been challenging yet rewarding and has been a significant factor in enabling him to write this paper.
“At California Western, I was pushed academically like never before, and this has opened up opportunities for me to realize my scholarly writing and career ambitions in the public sector,” says Raspler.
Raspler cites California Western’s Professor Joanna Sax as a hugely influential mentor and greatly appreciates her guidance and support in writing his scholarly article.
After law school, Raspler plans to work on environmental legislation and policy in Washington, D.C. and intends to continue writing on the subject.
“I aspire to be a part of the efforts to combat adverse effects on our planet to create a healthier environment for all,” says Raspler.
Raspler feels his law degree gives him a different outlook on the world with multiple career options, and he advises incoming Cal Western students to make the most of their opportunity.
“Put in the work and do not compare yourself to your peers,” he says. “Despite these uncertain times, remember you are not alone, and the Cal Western resources such as faculty, staff, and your colleagues are there to help.”
As Raspler comes to the end of his student days at California Western, Professor Sax aptly sums up his accomplishments.
“It has been a pleasure to have Caleb as a student in my classes, and I am so proud of his hard work, especially his forthcoming publication.”
To read Caleb Raspler’s complete scholarly article when published, click here.