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Aquaculture Science Homepage

NOAA works with partners across federal and state agencies as well as with private, academic, and non-governmental organizations to examine scientific issues that will lead to greater efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental compatibility in marine aquaculture. While we work to add science content to the website, you may want to refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

Algae Culture at the Darling Marine Center Algae is becoming an increasingly important protein source for aquaculture feeds. Here, algae culture at the Darling Marine Center greenhouse in Walpole, Maine. Scott Feindel, former hatchery manager, pictured. [credit: NOAA Aquaculture Office]


NOAA is working to address the technical and scientific barriers to marine aquaculture  in a number of ways including through in-house research at science centers, grants and cooperative agreements with academic and other stakeholders, and by coordinating research with other federal agencies.

Since 1998, NOAA has funded a total of $15 million through the Sea Grant Marine Aquaculture grant program, a competitive grants program coordinated by Sea Grant and the Office of Aquaculture.  Past projects have responded to key scientific, engineering, environmental, and economic questions such as studies of candidate species, health and nutrition, best management practices, ecosystems monitoring and management, engineered production systems, and legal and operational frameworks.

NOAA also has marine aquaculture research capabilities at in-house laboratories within the Fisheries Service and the Ocean Service, and research and extension capabilities through state Sea Grant programs.

Specific Initiatives include

NOAA Fisheries Science Centers

NOAA engages in aquaculture research at many of its labs and science centers.  Research explores a wide spectrum of relevant issues including the culture of specific species, life-cycle analysis, alternative feeds, ocean acidification, and habitat benefits and impacts.  A well-integrated aquaculture research program includes studies of the culture of fish and shellfish to develop methods suitable for commercial use as well as for stock enhancement and restoration.

Other federal agencies under the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Interior, along with academic and research institutions, invest in research to address technological challenges. For example, the Advanced Technology Program within the National Institute for Standards and Technology has supported a number of advanced research and technology projects. In addition, aquaculture companies have received support for the development of commercial products and services through the Small Business Innovation Program at NOAA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and, in the past, through the Saltonstall-Kennedy Program.