NOAA awards $1.1M to boost aquaculture research, Mainebiz reports

Mainebiz reported two awards from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will support seaweed and blue mussel aquaculture research projects in Maine. A grant of $908,015 to UMaine researchers will support research into sustainable post-harvest processing — such as drying, blanching and freezing — of aquacultured seaweed and development of value-added products. Researchers will work with industry partners in New England, with the goal of increasing capacity of Maine seaweed producers and processors to compete in the food marketplace, according to the article. An award of $249,238 to Brian Beal of the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education and University of Maine at Machias will support study of large-scale culture of blue mussel seed, to provide to commercial aquaculturists for grow-out. Demand for mussels in the Northeast exceeds the current domestic supply, but seed production is the main factor limiting expansion of mussel aquaculture, the article states.