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  • Ben Kaplan

Healey-Driscoll Administration Awards $1.6 Million in Grants to Support Commercial Fisheries

Updated: Jul 5, 2023



BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced $1.6 million in grants to support innovative approaches to enhance Massachusetts commercial marine fisheries and the seafood industry. Twenty Massachusetts businesses and organizations are receiving funding through the Environmental Economic Innovation and Resiliency in Marine Fisheries Grant Program, supplemented by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The grant program will fund projects that work to mitigate economic barriers resulting from climate change and promote sustainable, local fisheries development in Massachusetts.

“Massachusetts is a leader in protecting the health of our fishing industry, and this funding shows our commitment to keep the industry thriving by utilizing cutting-edge technology and the latest scientific research,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Our administration is taking a holistic approach to combating climate change, which includes supporting our fisheries, advancing green energy, and enhancing the state’s blue economy.”

“Having served as mayor of a coastal community, I know how much the fishing industry contributes to and impacts a city’s economy, character, and food security,” said Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll. “Massachusetts' commercial fishing and processing industries were hit hard and changed forever by the pandemic. This funding will support innovative, environmentally friendly efforts to grow the industry and support critical food production in Massachusetts.”

The Environmental Economic Innovation and Resiliency in Marine Fisheries Grant Program is administered by the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF). The grant program aims to develop, utilize, and promote innovative approaches that enhance environmental benefits and encourage increased economic activity in Massachusetts commercial marine fisheries and the seafood industry. Project outcomes, developed technologies, and data will be shared with the relevant industries and local and state natural resource managers to help grow and support critical food production. 

“The fishing industry is on the front lines of climate change, and it’s critical we make meaningful, long-term investments now to ensure the sustainability and resiliency of our marine fisheries,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “This funding is two-fold in that we are helping fishers and their families recover from the pandemic while supporting new approaches that will safeguard our valuable marine resources from climate harm.”

“Our coastal cities benefit from a successful and vibrant fishing industry, and supporting these projects will give fishers, growers, and processors the tools to promote sustainably harvested local seafood,” said DFG Commissioner Tom O’Shea. “By investing in innovation, research, and technology, we’re building a more resilient workforce in the fishing industry.”

“Today's funding announcement represents a significant investment in the future of our blue economy. This funding will support innovative approaches to enhance the marine environment, combat climate change, and promote sustainable, local fisheries development,” said State Senator Susan Moran (D-Falmouth). “I commend the Healey-Driscoll Administration for their commitment to supporting our fishing industry and coastal communities, which play a vital role in our economy, local culture, and food security. This grant funding will help the industry recover from the challenges posed by the pandemic and promote critical food production right here in Massachusetts.”

“Fishing is at the core of our cultural identity as well as the local economy in New Bedford,” said State Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford), who has long championed state programs to support fishermen and their families.  “The extraordinary researchers at SMAST have been an invaluable resource for this industry, and this latest grant funding will help our fishermen maximize their time while out at sea.”

“We are excited that the Healey-Driscoll administration has continued its support for our fishing industry here in New Bedford,” said State Representative Chris Hendricks (D-New Bedford). “This ARPA money for SMAST will provide additional support to our fisheries and give them accurate real-time information that will help New Bedford remain the most profitable fishing port in the United States.”

The Massachusetts Environmental Economic Innovation and Resiliency in Marine Fisheries Grant Program awards up to $100,000 per project. The following businesses and organizations are receiving grant awards:

  • Aquaculture Research Corp, Dennis: $98,896 to expand nursery operations to provide as much shellfish seed as possible to farmers and municipalities, especially in Massachusetts.

  • Blue Stream Shellfish LLC, Ware: $100,000 to design and construct an alternatively powered work barge for use at oyster farms.

  • Chatham Harvesters Cooperative, Chatham: $100,000 to increase the resiliency of local and regional fishing industry by expanding consumer access to healthy Massachusetts seafood through innovating new direct markets and creating value-added products from dogfish, skate, and monkfish.

  • Cuttyhunk Shellfish Farms, Concord: $57,290 for capital infrastructure improvements in farm equipment, business operating infrastructure, and business operating technology. The investment will support jobs, employee training, and environmental stewardship for the next generation of oyster farmers and Cuttyhunk residents by utilizing and establishing best business, management, and farm practices.

  • CVision AI, Inc., Medford: $100,000 to build an underwater stereo camera system and algorithms for counting, identifying, and measuring New England groundfish.

  • F/V Marissa & Julie, Gloucester: $79,909 to fund the purchase and installation of an automatic saltwater ice making machine system on the deck of the FV Marissa & Julie, of Gloucester.

  • Friends of South Shore Seafood Development, Scituate and Cohasset: $77,840 to purchase tracking software (QR Code, point of sale verification of catch origin, video streaming of vessel at sea); develop a website to include information on products, fishery management, and environmental impacts; develop a social media presence; and increase processing capacity to enable an average of 10 percent of catches to be handled locally.

  • Homarus Strategies, LLC, Brunswick, ME: $60,000 to establish a nonprofit organization in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts called CyanoBank that will be structured to house a capital facility providing low-cost revolving loans for emissions reductions projects, low-and zero-carbon repower projects, and the installation of zero-emission technologies to businesses involved in the commercial fishing and seafood industries in Massachusetts.

  • Honeysuckle Oyster Farm, LLC, Edgartown: $57,785 will enable Honeysuckle Oyster Farm to use the Oyster Transfer Barge to transfer shellfish and gear between different farm sites so that it may continue to farm and sell shellfish when adverse environmental conditions are present at its current farm site.

  • Lobster Foundation of Massachusetts, Scituate: $100,000 to market American lobster, the most valuable marine species harvested in Massachusetts waters, and to educate consumers about the Massachusetts commercial lobster industry’s conservation efforts on behalf of the North Atlantic Right Whale.

  • Lone Tree Creek Sea Farm, Yarmouth Port: $24,896 for the sail rigging, hull, and electric motor-- to replace fading fossil fuel outboards currently in use-- as well as fund subject matter experts for in-kind work on construction, sail training, and labor to assemble the project.

  • Martinos Seafood, LLC, Oak Bluffs: $27,202 to help aquaculture farms across the region successfully transition their oyster containers to bay scallops while generating an eco-friendly, protein- rich, high- in-demand product for the marketplace.

  • Michael T. Carroll, Charlestown: $92,150 to provide the Massachusetts retail, processing, and distribution industry with lobster sourcing strategies that minimize Right Whale entanglements.

  • On The Water, LLC, East Falmouth: $100,000 for an extensive marketing project that will support the commercial fishing, seafood, and aquaculture industry in Massachusetts through the creation of content designed to be distributed across social platforms.

  • Red's Best, Boston: $68,549 to maximize the environmental benefits of the clam shells that are the by-product of processing operations.

  • St. Ours & Co., LLC, East Weymouth: $49,980 to work with a network of harvesters and seafood processors across Eastern Massachusetts to determine the best method of capture, containment, transport, and storage of live green crabs.

  • The Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, Menemsha: $98,763 to build a Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Collaborative brand and local seafood labeling campaign to help consumers connect directly with the stories of their local fishermen. Also, to establish a pilot program to create value-added seafood products (such as black sea bass chowder) to be sold in local grocery stores and other outlets.

  • Wellfleet Shellfish Company Inc., Eastham: $100,000 to help offset capital costs associated with the installation of a solar array for its ability to promote resilience against the impacts of climate change. Installation of the Enphase Energy Monitoring Unit will help track energy performance, production, and usage in real-time.

  • School of Marine Science and Technology, UMass-Dartmouth, New Bedford: $99,290 to create a system that will give fishermen real-time information of the fish entering their net so that they can terminate a trawl immediately if they encounter fish they wish to avoid catching.

  • The Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership, Gloucester: $58,000 for a project to expand awareness, increase the scope and accessibility of business development, and develop technical assistance and training programs.

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