University of Maine receives grant for marine species research

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PORTLAND, Maine (WABI) - The University of Maine has been awarded $1.6 million to help research Atlantic Marine Species.

The grant is made possible from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Sea Grant College Program.

The funds will support a research project on tuna and shark species in the Gulf of Mexico and the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

Data researches hope to collect includes growth, age, and migratory behavior.

Maine's Congressional Delegation made the following statements:

“Maine’s coastal communities depend on Highly Migratory Species fisheries as an economic engine, sustaining and creating jobs as well as driving coastal tourism and recreation year after year,” said Senator Collins. “In order to better understand and maintain the health of HMS fisheries, more research is needed. This funding will assist researchers at UMaine as they work with partner institutions to fill the knowledge gaps about the history and biology of HMS fisheries.”

“The Gulf of Maine is an integral part of our state’s identity and economy, which is why it is vital that we deepen our understanding of the marine ecosystems it contains – particularly as it is warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans” said Senator King. “This Sea Grant funding will allow researchers at UMaine to conduct important work that will enhance our knowledge of the species that travel through Maine waters, ensuring we have accurate data as we work to mitigate the impact of climate change on our marine economy.”

“There’s so much we don’t know about what goes on in our oceans, so I’m always excited when researchers have the opportunity to learn more about Maine’s waters and species,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “This funding from Sea Grant will help us to ensure we understand why and how native Atlantic species migrate—which is especially important as the climate crisis hits the Northern Atlantic and the Gulf of Maine.”

“The University of Maine’s innovative research helps support our coastal communities and the Mainers that live and work in those communities. This $1.6 million grant to UMaine through the Sea Grant program will provide important information about the growth and migration of key fish species. Better understanding our fisheries has never been more important as we work with Maine’s fishermen and fishing industry to prepare for the future.” - Congressman Jared Golden.