The University of New Hampshire (UNH) received $747,673 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the NOAA Sea Grant 2018 Aquaculture Initiative. The announcement comes from U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH and Maggie Hassan, D-NH and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH-01. The funding will support a UNH project that seeks to boost U.S. seafood production through a specialized aquaculture training program that will recruit fishermen and farmers from across the northeast, including NH, Massachusetts and Maine. The training will specifically include workshops on farming steelhead trout and blue mussels.
Erik Chapman, director of NH Sea Grant says the award, “will allow us to continue to expand our work to sustain northern New England’s coastal economy and fishing heritage while increasing U.S. seafood production. In this two‐year program, UNH will work with and help train fishermen and farmers through workshops and daily operations of farming steelhead trout and blue mussels at a permitted site offshore.”
“The University of New Hampshire plays a critical role in support of our coastal communities through its continued research and development that benefits our local fishermen and invests in our Seacoast economy,” says Shaheen, the Lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds NOAA programs and projects. “I’m very pleased that these federal dollars will be put to good use in training programs for aquaculture initiatives.”
“Warming ocean temperatures and invasive species have caused a decline in sea creatures such as blue mussels and steelhead trout, which has negatively impacted New Hampshire fishermen and the seafood industry,” says Hassan. “By increasing seafood production through aquaculture training for fishermen and farmers, this federal grant to the University of New Hampshire will help expand economic opportunity on the Seacoast.”
“From supporting oyster farmers to helping fishermen sustainably harvest their products, New Hampshire’s Sea Grant program continues to bring tremendous benefit to our Seacoast economy,” says Shea-Porter. “This funding will support a new project that seeks to increase sustainable farming of steelhead trout and blue mussels in New England. Congratulations to my alma mater UNH, Dr. Chapman, and the entire Sea Grant partnership on receiving this funding.”