Because aquaculture is a means to provide safe food while reducing the stresses on overfishing, the federal government supports aquaculture.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which operates under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Commerce, manages a competitive grant program - and other financial assistance programs - to help start aquaculture projects, as well as support research and technology.
Listed below are the top 3 federal aquaculture grants:
• The National Marine Aquaculture Initiative - Managed by the federal Sea Grant program, this grant is for demonstration projects and research to help improve aquaculture. The competition of this competitive grant is designed to promote joint ventures that will help develop a sustainable aquaculture industry. Projects often include private companies, research institutions, universities, state governments, and coastal communities working together for a greater purpose than they would individually.
• Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program - Managed by the ever-helpful U.S. Small Business Administration, this program is to aid innovative scientific research toward commercial aquaculture. According to NOAA, "SBIR awards lead to major breakthroughs, innovative technologies, and next-generation products and processes".
• The Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program - Recently, this grant has been canceled due to insufficient funding as a result of the 2008 economic crisis, but some money may still be available. This grant supports projects that encourage environmentally and economically sound aquaculture and helps improve market availability.