NCCOS scientists, Suzanne Bricker and Amy Freitag, participated as facilitators in a Maryland Sea Grant Aquaculture Researcher Roundtable meeting last week at the University of Maryland, College Park to develop research ideas and potential projects to support development of sustainable aquaculture. The meeting connected industry and research partners to begin building a foundation for successful and innovative partnerships that would contribute to the success of the Maryland aquaculture industry and to advance sustainable aquaculture in the United States and beyond.
Industry partners identified priority issues at a Maryland shellfish aquaculture industry meeting last November, and summaries from that meeting served as background for the Researcher Roundtable meeting. Last week's assembly discussed a range of topics, including: legal and permitting issues, oyster breeding and genetics, on-bottom and water column production, business optimization, diversification of cultivated species, sustainability, and environmental threats.
Maryland Sea Grant will present a follow-up webinar for interested Roundtable participants at 3:00 pm EST on January 25, 2018 to discuss the currently available Sea Grant Aquaculture Grant opportunity and how to submit applications with the new "eSeaGrant" software. Meeting organizers hope that collaborative proposals resulting from partnerships developed at the Roundtable meeting, together with the webinar, will increase the success of proposals being submitted to the 2018 National Sea Grant College Program Aquaculture Initiative Federal Funding Opportunity, and other funding opportunities, that are currently open and seeking proposals.
Maryland Sea Grant organized the Aquaculture Researcher Roundtable meeting for the diverse group of participants, which included researchers from the University of Maryland and the UMD Extension; federal, state and local agencies; other universities; and aquaculture industry partners.