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Funding for New Hampshire Aquaculture Initiatives

US - New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg has announced that Great Bay Aquaculture in Portsmouth and the University of New Hampshire will receive federal funding for aquaculture research efforts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Senator Judd Gregg

Great Bay Aquaculture will receive a $250,000 grant to allow for the implementation of a pilot Atlantic cod farm in the Gulf of Maine.

This project will allow for the development of sustainable practices in farming and harvesting cod, a key product for New Hampshire’s fishing community.

UNH will receive two grants: $212,304 to support their offshore longline mussel farm project and $474,999 to support the advancement and improve the economic viability of offshore fish farming.

Senator Gregg said: "Employing aquaculture and other sustainable farming and fishing practices are key to the long term economic viability of the Granite State’s ocean resources.

"Fortunately, both Great Bay Aquaculture and the University of New Hampshire are leaders in this important field and are setting the standard for the region in this technology.

"I am pleased these grants have been provided for research and development which will bolster the long-term success of aquaculture off New Hampshire’s coasts."

George Nardi, Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Great Bay Aquaculture, said: "Great Bay Aquaculture is extremely pleased to have received this award from NOAA. We hope this will be the start of a new chapter for cod, adding to its long history and economic significance to the region.

"GBA has pioneered hatchery techniques to mass produce Atlantic cod juveniles in North America and is currently working with colleagues to build a sustainable cod culture industry in the region.

"The young fish (100,000) that are produced at our Portsmouth hatchery from native stock will be stocked into the cod farm off Sorrento, ME. Five new jobs will be created in the first year of operation."

Dr. Richard Langan, Director of the Atlantic Marine Aquaculture Center at UNH, said: "We are very pleased that NOAA has selected these projects for funding. The projects will allow us to build upon all the good work done by UNH over the past decade.

"The mussel project will allow us to pass on the knowledge and experience gained by UNH to the region's fishermen. Offshore mussel culture represents a tremendous opportunity for local and regional fishermen continue working on the water, generate new economic activity and help maintain working waterfronts.

"New England consumers will benefit from having access to locally grown, safe, healthy, and sustainable seafood.

"Through research UNH has conducted over the past decade, we believe that offshore farming of native fish like cod and halibut is feasible, but we also recognize the need to improve efficiency in order to be commercially viable.

"The work on advanced materials that resist growth of marine organisms, and on engineered systems for precision depth control of offshore fish cages could significantly reduce labor costs, improve worker safety and produce healthier, faster growing fish."