OSWEGO - New York Sea Grant has recently been announced as part of a three-year, $1 million, multi-state Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative project designed to help Great Lakes states respond to consumer demand for freshwater fish and a $14 billion national seafood trade deficit identified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service.
Minnesota Sea Grant will serve as project leader with team members from New York, Illinois-Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. New York Sea Grant Fisheries and Ecosystem Specialist Jesse Lepak, Oswego, will serve as the New York representative to the Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative.
Aquaculture involves the controlled-environment breeding, rearing, harvesting, and sales of marine and freshwater fish, shellfish and aquatic plants.
The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative project work includes:
. Working with state-level advisory groups and regional liaisons;
. Development of websites, listservs, and webinars to share and disseminate the best available science information on aquaculture;
. An annual aquaculture event for sharing new research, data, and information relevant to the aquaculture industry;
. Evaluation of consumer perceptions, demand, and willingness to pay for aquaculture products;
. Interviews and survey of Great Lakes aquaculture industry producers to determine the research most useful to them;
. Policy analysis and gathering of stakeholder input to identify which barriers most constrain aquaculture industry growth in the Great Lakes Basin; and
. Identification of specific strategies, presented as recommendations to the Great Lakes aquaculture industry, on how to overcome challenges and how to potentially leverage opportunities.
New York Sea Grant is one of 33 Sea Grant science, education, and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Puerto Rico, Lake Champlain, and Guam, and administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Learn more at www.nyseagrant.org.
For more information on the Sea Grant announcement of $16 million in federal funding to advance sustainable aquaculture in the U.S., see http://nyseagrant.org/seagrantaquacultureawards.