Maine institute gets grant to boost access to local seafood

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Zachary Whitener and Abe Lebel of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute gather alewives for testing on Mill Brook in Westbrook in 2017.
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A Maine research institute has received a $480,000 boost from the federal government for a drive to increase access to local seafood.
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PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine research institute has received a $480,000 boost from the federal government for a drive to increase access to local seafood.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding the money to Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland for the project. Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree says the institute will match that amount with $125,000.

The goal of the project is to make quality and food safety improvements that will improve the market demand for seafood caught by New England’s fishermen, Pingree said. She said local business is especially important for the region’s food producers who are coping with the impact of trade hostilities between the U.S. and foreign markets.

Kyle Foley, seafood program manager for GMRI, said the funding will help make new equipment available to small ports around New England.

“New England’s finfish is often not competing with imported product on quality, and that’s a real lost opportunity. The work of this grant is hopefully going to change that,” she said.

Pingree also announced smaller grants to The Sustainability Lab in Yarmouth for a planning project and Maine Federation of Farmers Markets in Belfast for a capacity building project.

 



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