USDA allocates $1.2 million for aquaculture

USDA allocates $1.2 million for aquaculture

Program supports development of environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made available more than $1.2 million in funding to support the development of environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture in the United States. This funding is available through the Aquaculture Research Program, administered through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The Aquaculture Research program focuses on projects that directly address major challenges to the U.S. aquaculture industry. Results of projects supported by this program are intended to help improve the profitability of the U.S. aquaculture industry, reduce the U.S. trade deficit, increase domestic food security, provide markets for U.S. produced products, increase domestic aquaculture business investment opportunities and provide more jobs for rural and coastal America.

Aquaculture contributes more than half of the seafood consumed globally, and this contribution is expected to grow. Although U.S. aquaculture production has shown growth in the past decade, the U.S. still has an approximately $12 billion trade deficit in seafood products and imports more than 90 percent of seafood consumed. The factors that limit aquaculture in the U.S. are complex and multifaceted. Applied research in genetics, disease, production systems, and economics is needed to develop practical solutions that will facilitate growth of the U.S. aquaculture industry. This research will help reduce the U.S. trade deficit in seafood products and enhance the capacity of the U.S aquaculture industry to contribute to domestic and global food security and economic growth.

Since 2014, this program has awarded nearly $2.5 million in funding.