NOAA awards $11 million to accelerate U.S. aquaculture research

Growing the U.S. aquaculture industry is a priority for the Department of Commerce
October 17, 2018 Today, NOAA announced 22 research grants totaling $11 million for projects around the country designed to expand sustainable U.S. ocean, coastal and Great Lakes aquaculture.
Joe Harned hauls in a line of floating oyster cages at Morris Family Shellfish Farms in Sea Level, North Carolina, where he’s sampling oysters grown using various gear tested by  the Sea Grant National Aquaculture Initiative.

“Growth in the domestic aquaculture industry holds great promise to create jobs and reduce our dependence on seafood imports,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “With such vast coastlines, there is no reason the United States should be importing billions of pounds of seafood each year.”

The aquaculture research grants, conducted through the 2018 Sea Grant National Aquaculture Initiative, will help address priorities set by the U.S. Department of Commerce and NOAA to support research to advance marine aquaculture.

The grants are for three-year projects that will address priorities such as:

  • supporting new domestic aquaculture systems or technologies,
  • communicating accurate, science-based information about the benefits and risks of marine aquaculture to the public, and
  • increasing the resiliency of aquaculture systems to natural hazards and changing environmental conditions.

“Aquaculture is gaining momentum as a reliable, safe and sustainable source of food in the U.S., and we are excited to contribute to the growing industry and body of knowledge that supports it,” said Jonathan Pennock, National Sea Grant College program director.

The grant recipients must also match 50 percent of their funding with non-federal funds. Reflecting the growing interest in the aquaculture industry, NOAA received 100 proposals in total requesting nearly $48 million in federal funds.

For a full list and short descriptions of the 22 grant projects, visit the NOAA Sea Grant website:

Monica Allen, 301-734-1123