Hawai Sea Grant awarded nearly $1M for aquaculture research

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By Milthon Lujan

Hawai, USA.- The University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College Program has received nearly $1 million for aquaculture research in support of food security research, education and outreach in the state.

Maria Haws, director of Hawai?i Sea Grant’s Center of Excellence in Sustainable Aquaculture and Coastal Resources and director of UH Hilo‘s Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center, received $182,955 for her project, “Increasing Opportunities for Aquaculture of High Value Marine Fish in Hawai?i.” It will develop improved culture methods for the native marine fish species Pacific Threadfin, known locally as moi, in land-based systems.

“Moi is a popular fish in Hawai?i and has cultural value as well,” said Haws. “Our hope is to make moi fingerlings and extension support available to local stakeholders to help overcome some of the barriers that have impeded mariculture for decades, which will help create a local supply of fresh, sustainable seafood and create jobs.”

Andre P. Seale, assistant professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), received $749,815 for his project, “Integrating Land and Sea Grant Aquaculture Research, Extension and Education at the University of Hawai’i.” It aims to establish an aquaculture program at UH Manoa that leverages and integrates land and sea grant research, extension and education resources. CTAHR‘s Seale and Rajesh Jha are partnering with Darren T. Lerner and Darren K. Okimoto of Hawai?i Sea Grant.

“We intend to leverage a state-of-the-art recirculating aquaculture facility to address research, education and extension capacity needs of university students, industry producers and the public,” said Seale. “We also plan to develop a research program related to the aquaculture production of finfish, and an outreach program that will disseminate industry driven research information to producers and end-users.”

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Hawai?i Sea Grant is among several national Sea Grant programs to receive funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to address specific priorities of the 2018 Sea Grant National Aquaculture Initiative. The 22 funded projects total $11 million in federal grants, and will help spur development of a sustainable marine and coastal aquaculture industry in the U.S.

Source: University of Hawai’i

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