Aquaculture Research Institute

Maine gets grant for aquaculture research

The Damariscotta River is the center of Maine’s burgeoning oyster farming sector.

The Damariscotta River is the center of Maine’s burgeoning oyster farming sector.

Baskets used to grow juvenile oysters    — Photo by Saoyster

Baskets used to grow juvenile oysters

— Photo by Saoyster

From The New England Council (newenglandcouncil.com)

The University of Maine (UMaine) has been selected to receive a $123,735 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA). The grant will be given to UMaine’s Aquaculture Research Institute, which was established in 2009 and has completed more than 50 aquaculture projects in the past five years.

The grant is a part of NOAA’s Sea Grant National Aquaculture Initiative to donate over $16 million to 42 projects nationwide. NOAA’s grant will fund UMaine’s pilot program, “Aquaculture Workforce Development: Certificate in Applied Sustainable Aquaculture,” which was designed to address the aquaculture industry workforce needs by introducing and developing alternate career opportunities for traditional fishing communities. In addition, the project incorporates UMaine’s internship program to create an industry and academic partnership pipeline.

“Maine’s history of innovation, collaboration and economic development in this sector positioned institutions in the state to compete successfully for almost one-third of the federal funds awarded,” says Gayle Zydlewski, director of Maine Sea Grant and a professor in the UMaine School of Marine Sciences.