NOAA Sea Grant has announced the award of $9.3 million in grants for 32 projects to advance the development of a sustainable marine and coastal aquaculture industry in the U.S.
The grants were awarded through two aquaculture funding competitions--Integrated Projects to Increase Aquaculture Production and Addressing Impediments to Aquaculture Opportunities--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.
All projects include public-private partnerships and will be led by university-based Sea Grant programs. With each project, every two federal dollars of funding is matched by non-federal funds, bringing the total investment in these research projects to $13.9 million. A couple of projects are related to aquaculture feeds and feed ingredients.
The project \"Improved delivery of water-soluble nutrients to marine fish larvae to promote expansion of US commercial aquaculture,\" led by Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University, will aim to address one of the major barriers in marine finfish aquaculture: poor larval survival that is largely due to poor nutrition and difficulties in nutrient delivery.
The project \"Commercializing intensive copepod culture: A transformational foundation essential for increasing domestic production of high-value marine finfish,\" led by Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant at The University of Southern Mississippi, will optimize production systems and culture parameters to facilitate and implement copepod mass production at the producer level. To do this, scientists will integrate knowledge of copepod life history parameters and responses to environmental variables to produce stable production models, optimize copepod diets/nutrition and the use of both live algae and commercially-available algal concentrates to support enhanced survival and reproduction, and more.
Sea Grant’s investment in aquaculture research, outreach and education programs continues to produce results for coastal communities and their economies. Between February 2016 and January 2017, Sea Grant invested $9 million in aquaculture research, technology transfer, and outreach and reported $90 million in economic impacts, including support of 900 businesses and 1,800 jobs.