Pingree Announces $400,499 in NOAA Funding for Maine’s Ocean Economy
Washington, January 27, 2021
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced the Maine Aquaculture Association in Hallowell will receive $400,499 through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Sea Grant Program. This grant will fund research into the future of Maine’s Blue Economy, including its seafood and fishery markets.
“Maine’s economy relies heavily on the strength of our fisheries. In New England and worldwide, Maine’s seafood is known for its high quality, and our brand carries weight. The increased collaboration between our aquaculture and wild caught fisheries strengthens and solidifies Maine’s place as a leader in this sector. The coronavirus pandemic upended supply chains, and aquaculture producers felt the impact acutely. We must explore new outlets to fill in the gaps while sustaining the strong market share that Maine’s seafood producers have worked hard to cultivate,” said Pingree. “I’m a longtime supporter of the Sea Grant program because it supports one of our state’s most vital industries. This funding will ensure Maine’s seafood industry has a variety of markets and is more resilient should an economic shock like COVID ever happen again.”
The project, entitled Expanding Maine’s Blue Economy, proposes a collaborative, industry-propelled, interdisciplinary research project to address two specific objectives: (1) identifying barriers and opportunities in existing aquaculture and other seafood supply chains that support increased consumption of Maine marine aquaculture products within U.S. markets; (2) evaluating consumer preferences for Maine marine aquaculture products with varying attributes and branding.
Congresswoman Pingree is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, where she prioritized increased funding for Sea Grant in the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations legislation. In November, the Sea Grant program was reauthorized unanimously by the U.S House of Representatives.