Pilot Aquaculture Projects
The NOAA Office of Aquaculture provided another regional aquaculture small grant opportunity through the GSMFC intended to not necessarily fund research and development for aquaculture but rather to support commercial start-ups with production in mind. Initiated in 2018, the GSMFC supported three projects totaling $471,853; two offshore finfish projects and one nearshore clam project. An additional $552,743 was made available from NOAA for another round of Pilot Programs in 2019 and funded four projects, additional work on the two offshore permitting projects, an urchin-oyster study, and a continuation of the hard clam work. In 2020, a total of seven projects were awarded totaling $598,690. Projects focused on unique and novel species for potential market development such as Tripletail, Anglewing Clams, Ponderous Ark, and hybrid Northern Hard Clams. Additional projects included alternative broodstock sources for grouper culture, multi-use of oil and gas platforms, and hatchery support for ongoing pilot projects.