NOAA has announced 32 research grants totaling $9.3 million for projects around the country to further develop the nation’s marine and coastal aquaculture industry.
Jeff McKeen and Tyler Hild of Pemiquid Oyster Company clean and bag oysters raised in Maine’s Damariscotta River to sell to restaurants.
“This country, with its abundant coastline, should not have to import billions of pounds of seafood each year,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These grants will promote aquaculture projects that will help us reduce our trade deficit in this key industry.”
The grants were awarded through two competitions to help spur the development and growth of shellfish, finfish, and seaweed aquaculture businesses. The projects include basic and applied research to improve efficient production of seafood, permitting of new businesses, management of environmental health issues, and economic success of aquaculture businesses.
“Public-private partnerships play a vital role in advancing sustainable domestic aquaculture and increasing food security,” said Jonathan Pennock, director of NOAA Sea Grant. “Industry is working alongside researchers on each of these projects, which will help expand businesses, create new jobs and provide economic benefits to coastal communities.”
All projects include public-private partnerships and will be led by university-based NOAA Sea Grant programs. With each project, every two dollars of federal funding is matched by one dollar of non-federal funds, bringing the total investment in these research projects to more than $13.9 million.
NOAA received 126 proposals requesting nearly $58 million in federal funds.
A list and short descriptions of the 32 grant projects is available on the NOAA Sea Grant website.