Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program Receives Nearly $1.4M for Aquaculture Research

September 26, 2019, 9:09 AM HST (Updated September 26, 2019, 9:11 AM)
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Aquaculture research in Pohnpei PC: Andre P. Seale

The University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program received nearly $1.4 million to establish a new aquaculture-focused collaborative program in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region and explore new aquaculture opportunities, according to a September article in the University of Hawai‘i News.

To fully integrate aquaculture research, outreach and education in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region, Hawaiʻi Sea Grant and its partners were awarded nearly $1.2 million to revitalize, solidify and expand an aquaculture-focused, collaborative program that will be socially, geographically and economically inclusive.

Aquaculture extension faculty from Hawaiʻi Sea Grant provide expertise in growing farmed sponges. PC: UH

Darren Lerner, Hawaiʻi Sea Grant director and principal investigator, said “This funding will assist in creating a hub which fully integrates research, extension, and education services directed towards supporting the continued development and enhancement of indigenous aquaculture practices and the aquaculture industry in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.”

Hawaiʻi Sea Grant was among several Sea Grant programs around the country to receive funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The 42 funded projects will help spur the development of a sustainable marine and coastal aquaculture industry in the US.

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“These investments will help advance US aquaculture in sustainable, thoughtful ways using the best science and talent across the country,” said Jonathan Pennock, director of the National Sea Grant College Program.

Hawaiʻi Sea Grant was also the recipient of two additional grants totaling $200,000. One project, titled “Culture of Native Bivalve Species to Expand Mariculture Opportunities and Improve Coastal Environments,” will develop hatchery and nursery methods for selected bivalve species such as the black-lip pearl oyster and other saltwater clams in Hawaiʻi and the US affiliated Pacific Islands.

The other project titled “Exploring the Potential for Sustainable Capture-Based Aquaculture of Spiny Lobster (Panulirus spp.) in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia,” aims to test the feasibility of growing wild spiny lobster to form a new aquaculture industry in the Western Pacific.

For more on the grants, go to the Hawaiʻi Sea Grant website.

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