About the National Marine Aquaculture Initiative
NOAA launched the National Marine Aquaculture Initiative (NMAI) in 1998 to encourage scientific research and development to support a robust, sustainable domestic marine aquaculture industry. The competition fosters dynamic partnerships that channel resources toward the development of sustainable aquaculture technologies. Projects often involve partnerships among commercial companies, research institutions, universities, state governments, and coastal communities.
At the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the Aquaculture Genetics and Breeding Technology Center (ABC) produces a large number of genetically-distinct oyster spawns each season. Here, a researcher peers at tiny oyster spat. (credit: NOAA Aquaculture Office)
NMAI is coordinated by NOAA Sea Grant and the NOAA Aquaculture Office and emphasizes the “Safe and Sustainable Seafood Supply” goals stated in Sea Grant's National Strategic Plan. Those goals are
- A sustainable supply of safe seafood to meet public demand;
- A healthy domestic seafood industry that produces, processes, and markets seafood responsibly and efficiently; and
- Informed consumers who understand the importance of ecosystem health and sustainable harvesting practices to the future of our domestic fisheries, who appreciate the health benefits of seafood consumption, and who understand how to evaluate the safety of the seafood products they buy.
In 2012, NOAA Sea Grant's 'National Marine Aquaculture Initiative' is making $3.2 million available through a Sea Grant Aquaculture Research competitive grants program. Funds will support marine aquaculture research projects as part of the overall plan to support the development of environmentally and economically sustainable ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes aquaculture.
Priorities for this FY 2012 competition include
- research to inform specific regulatory decisions;
- research that supports multi-use spatial planning; and
- socio-economic research targeted to understand aquaculture in a larger context.
For more information including a synopsis, the full announcement, and the application, go to Grants.gov and perform a basic search using Funding Opportunity Number NOAA-OAR-SG-2012-2003249 or CDMA Number 11.417.
In April 2010, NOAA announced that the 'National Marine Aquaculture Initiative' would make funds available through two grant opportunities: Aquaculture Research and Aquaculture Extension and Technology Transfer. These competitive grants made up to $6 million available to fund aquaculture research projects and up to $4.8 million to fund aquaculture extension efforts.
The NOAA 2008-2009 National Marine Aquaculture Initiative grants competition distributed over $6.6 million in competitive grants among 30 projects. Please see below for the list of recipients.
List of Grant Recipients for 2008 (pdf, 30 kb)
The NOAA 2006-2007 National Marine Aquaculture Initiative distributed $7.2 million in competitive grants among 25 sustainable marine aquaculture demonstration and research projects. Please see below for the list of grant recipients.
- Sea Grant Question-and-Answer webpage
- List of Research Projects Funded through the Initiative (1999-2004) (pdf, 56 kb)