California Sea Grant has been awarded two new grants to address impediments to aquaculture opportunities, part of National Sea Grant College Program’s $9.3 million in federal funding through its 2017 national strategic investment in aquaculture.
“The growing demand for local, sustainable seafood presents an opportunity to strengthen California’s coastal economy and aquaculture industry. Domestic aquaculture creates local jobs, increases national food security, and lowers our dependence on imported seafood,” said California Sea Grant director Jim Eckman. “These grants allow researchers to examine hurdles and develop novel solutions for our aquaculture farmers.”
Research will be conducted over a three year period and led by university-based research teams. The grants were awarded through two competitive federal funding opportunities to help spur the development and growth of shellfish, finfish, and seaweed aquaculture businesses. The funding leverages all federal dollars two to one with state matching funds.
The two projects coordinated by the California Sea Grant program are as follows:
Scott Hamilton, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Michael Graham, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Impediments and opportunities for coordinating use of California’s coastal ocean: Adding aquaculture to the mix
Carrie Pomeroy, California Sea Grant
Carrie Culver, California Sea Grant
Additionally, California Sea Grant Extension will serve as collaborators on two multi-institutional aquaculture projects. CASG Extension Director Lisa Schiavinato is part of a national collaboration to examine legal and permitting impediments to shellfish aquaculture with other attorneys from the National Sea Grant Law Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program, Virginia Coastal Policy Center, and University of Georgia. In a project awarded to USC Sea Grant and led by Aquarium of the Pacific, CASG Extension Specialist Paul Olin will help develop educational content addressing public misconceptions about marine aquaculture.
These new research efforts build on previous investments Sea Grant has made to support domestic aquaculture. Between February 2016 and January 2017, Sea Grant invested $9 million in aquaculture research, technology transfer and outreach. As a result, Sea Grant reported $90 million in economic impacts, including support of 900 businesses and 1,800 jobs.
For a full list and short descriptions of all 32 grant projects, visit the NOAA Sea Grant website.