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$3 Million for Franklin's Offshore Fish Project

Cod Technology & equipment Economics +4 more

MAINE, US The University of Maines Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) and Maines nascent offshore aquaculture industry got a huge boost last month with a pair of grants totaling just under $3 million from the Maine Technology Asset Fund (MTAF).

The funds come from a $50 million research and development bond approved by Maine voters in November 2007 and are administered by the Maine Technology Institute, writes Stephen Rappaport for the Ellsworth American.

According to the news agency, by far the largest grant, $2.6 million, will go directly to CCAR to erect a new building that will be used for holding marine fish, such as cod, testing offshore aquaculture equipment and holding broodstock for large marine fish such as tuna. The smaller grant, just $360,000, will go to the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center (MAIC) to improve and upgrade aquaculture business incubator facilities at CCAR.

According to Nicholas Brown, CCARs director, the $2.6 million will be used to build a new 168-by-128-foot temperature-controlled building that will enclose a pair of existing 300,000-gallon outdoor tanks. Each 62-foot diameter tank will have its own separate water recirculation system.

The newly enclosed tanks will be used for a number of functions aimed at bolstering Maines offshore aquaculture industry. One use will be the testing of new designs for offshore net pens.