As part of a national initiative to increase U.S. aquaculture production in the next four years, three Florida Sea Grant researchers have been awarded more than $1.1 million by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for projects in both fish and shellfish farming.
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.
The three research projects that will be funded are:
- Expanding Marine Aquaculture in the U.S.: Technology for Commercial Scale Hatchery and Nursery Production of High Value Marine Fish Seedstock
University of Miami
Project type: aquaculture research, information/technology transfer
- Velella Epsilon: Pioneering Offshore Aquaculture In The Southeastern Gulf of Mexico
University of Florida
Project type: Permitting support, aquaculture education
- Information Transfer about shellfish hatchery operations: an extension project targeting small family-based hatchery farms in Florida
Florida Sea Grant, $22,639
Project type: information/technology transfer
“We are excited that these Florida projects were selected for funding by NOAA, because the conditions in our coastal waters are ideal for high productivity of valuable food fish and because we have unmatched expertise in this state to take research-scale marine aquaculture to the commercial level,” said Karl Havens, Director of Florida Sea Grant.
The Florida funding is just a portion of $9.3 million NOAA has awarded to 32 projects across the U.S. to spur growth of shellfish, finfish and seaweed aquaculture. All projects will include public-private partnerships and will be led by Sea Grant programs in the respective states.
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.
“As our nation’s appetite for healthy, sustainable seafood continues to grow, aquaculture presents a major opportunity to meet this demand,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These grants support research that will help industry meet this growing need.”