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National Aquaculture Initiative Opens for Coastal, Marine, and Great Lakes Aquaculture Species

Patrick Carroll, supervisor of UNCW’s aquaculture facility stands next to a tank of black sea bass juveniles raised at UNCW’s marine fish hatchery in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Credit: Wade Watanabe/UNCW

Letters of intent are due January 17, 2024 for the Sea Grant FY 2024 National Aquaculture Initiative: Enhancing Production of Coastal, Marine, and Great Lakes Aquaculture Species. Full proposals are due in April 2024. 

Researchers, business professionals and other potential applicants from North Carolina are encouraged to contact North Carolina Sea Grant early in the proposal development stage.

“Our program has decades of experience in identifying new species for culture, and expanding research success to demonstrations of commercial production,” explains Eric Herbst, coastal aquaculture specialist. 

The National Sea Grant Office anticipates $5 million to $6 million in funding for research projects and programs that will develop and refine methods, protocols, techniques, and/or strategies to enhance the production of one or more life stages of aquaculture species to improve the efficiency, output, and profitability of commercial coastal, marine, or Great Lakes region aquaculture businesses. 

Projects that focus on the following aquaculture categories and organisms in both marine and freshwater are eligible for this competition and include:

  • Microalgae and macroalgae (seaweed)
  • Molluscs
  • Crustaceans
  • Ornamentals
  • Baitfish
  • Finfish species for food production
  • Miscellaneous invertebrates

The  opportunity is open to: any individual; any public or private corporation, partnership, or other association or entity (including any Sea Grant College, Sea Grant Institute or other institution); or any state, political subdivision of a state, tribal government or agency or officer thereof. Applications require the standard 50% non-federal match for Sea Grant projects.

Find the full notice of funding opportunity, more eligibility information and learn how you can apply at

Learn more about NC Sea Grant’s aquaculture research and outreach, go to