Pingree Announces $2 Million Federal Investment to Strengthen Maine Aquaculture
NOAA Sea Grant funding will support aquaculture projects at the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, University of Maine, Maine Sea Grant, and the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research
Washington, September 23, 2022
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced $2.12 million in federal funding to strengthen Maine’s aquaculture industry. Awarded through National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sea Grant program, the funding will support sustainable aquaculture projects at the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center and the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, as well as continue funding for additional projects at the University of Maine and Maine Sea Grant.
“Year after year, the Sea Grant program protects thousands of acres of coastal ecosystems, generates hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development, and creates thousands of jobs across the country,” said Pingree. “As a longtime supporter of the Sea Grant program and an advocate for it through my role on the House Appropriations Committee, I’m thrilled aquaculture projects in Maine are being invested in. This funding is yet another example of how Sea Grant is fostering innovation and entrepreneurship to support Maine’s working waterfront and coastal communities.”
The funded projects in Maine are as follows:
Nutritional Strategies for Improved Larval Production of Marine Finfish with an Emphasis on Seriola sp.
This project seeks to develop the capacity and knowledge to produce and refine microparticulate finfish larval feeds and evaluate the effects of diets on the performance (growth and survival) of larval California yellowtail and yellowtail amberjack. Outcomes of the project activities will help increase larval performance and juvenile production of seriolids, which will aid in development and expansion of aquaculture of seriolids.
Supporting Industry Needs Through Maine Aquaculture Hub
This project seeks to continue the work of the Maine Aquaculture Hub to support sustainable development of the aquaculture sector across the state by implementing activities identified in the newly released 10-year Maine Aquaculture Roadmap. Project activities will consist of outreach event, workshops and training activities. In addition, a needs assessment will be used to evaluate and document the needs of different demographic groups interested in training through the Aquaculture in Shared Waters program. Project outcomes include maintaining and strengthening relationships between the Hub and members of the aquaculture sector, gathering feedback and insight from the industry on needs and future directions of interest for progress, engaging the Hub network as a whole through convenings, an update economic impact assessment of the industry, implementation of aquaculture outreach and education needs identified by Hub participants, and strengthening and diversifying training programs. This project will benefit the Maine aquaculture industry, coastal communities and their economies, and the general public.
NOAA Sea Grant announced approximately $14 million in federal funding across four strategic areas for improving U.S. aquaculture: early-stage propagation strategies; marine finfish juvenile production technologies; continued support of advanced aquaculture collaboratives; and creation of the aquaculture information exchange. Click here for a complete list of funded projects.
For over 50 years, NOAA Sea Grant has supported coastal communities through research, extension, and education. In 2021, Sea Grant helped create and sustain more than 11,000 jobs and has generated an estimated $519.5 million in economic development—nearly half of our nation’s $1.2 billion aquaculture economy.
Pingree is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, where she prioritized increased funding for NOAA Sea Grant in the Fiscal Year 2023 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.