Keywords: Sea Grant network, extension specialists, technology transfer, aquaculture, USA, United States, communication
Sea Grant's role: sharing with the community the goal of fostering ecologically-sound, and economically-viable, aquaculture
US aquaculture is one of the fastest growing segments of US agriculture; however, as aquaculture expands, a number of environmental, regulatory, and socioeconomic concerns threaten to constrain further development of the industry. This presents unique challenges to the Sea Grant network. Although Sea Grant encourages the commercial development of aquaculture, it must work with local communities to promote the goal of fostering ecologically-sound and economically-viable aquaculture in the USA. Sea Grant supports aquaculture through an integrated method of research, education and extension. Both National and State Sea Grant Programs support competitive research programs. State Sea Grant programs also employ a number of extension specialists who work directly with the aquaculture industry and various other stakeholders including industry associations, regulatory agencies, researchers, educators, and the general public. These specialists facilitate communication among stakeholders, and offer technology transfer, technical assistance, and educational programs to further the development of the industry in their respective States. Extension specialists communicate industry issues, research needs, and challenges back to the Sea Grant network. Sea Grant, through its research, education, and extension programs, has made significant progress in identifying and solving key problems impeding the expansion of USA.