Our Work


Sustainable Seafood


Local Seafood Sources 

Shellfish Intiative


Seafood is the cornerstone of the cultural and economic fabric of the Ocean State.

Through network building and collaboration, our fisheries and aquaculture specialists connect industry and consumers with the best available science to build vibrant local markets for Rhode Island fishery and aquaculture products through ecosystem-based management practices, as well as continue its commitment to provide training for safe seafood processing.


To build a vibrant local seafood economy that is safe and sustainable through effective, ecosystem-based management practices.

Focus Areas


While up to 90% of seafood is currently imported into the U.S., Sea Grant works to support U.S. fisheries by connecting people with locally harvested bounty and by supporting those who provide it.


Commercial aquaculture complements wild fisheries’ contribution to the seafood supply local, regionally, and nationally. Sea Grant works to ensure resources remain safe and sustainable and conflicts are managed effectively.

Safe seafood

Offer annual USDA-mandated training in the application of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles to the safe processing of seafood.

High School Students Compete in Seafood Cook-Off

Warwick Area Career & Technical Center's Tides Café to host; public is invited WARWICK, R.I.—Student culinary teams from five high schools across Rhode Island will be competing in the 2023 Rhode Island High School Seafood Cookoff, hosted by the Warwick Area Career...

Announcing the Partnership for Research Excellence in Sustainable Seafood (PRESS) Request for Proposals (RFP)

The Partnership for Research Excellence in Sustainable Seafood (PRESS) initiative announces an RFP that provides a mechanism of funding allowing a...

“Infinity Fish”: Preserving Ocean Resources for Future Generations

Economist Rashid Sumaila discusses how placing a dollar value on things associated with a resource—like cultural and social values, employment, health, and the environment—can motivate communities to make choices that preserve those resources.

Eat the Invaders

October is National Seafood Month – a distinction proclaimed by Congress over 30 years century ago to recognize one of our nation's oldest industries. Government figures show that nationwide, the seafood industry supports 1.2 million jobs contributes $61 billion to...

Where Do All the Microplastics Go?

URI Coastal Fellows investigate the location, concentration, and movement of microplastics in Narragansett Bay.

Oysters Clear the Waters, but Do They Muddy the Soil?

Oysters have been shown to improve water quality, so researchers decided to investigate what happens to the seafloor soils beneath oyster farms where copious amounts of poop hit the ground.

Ways to Get Rhode Island Seafood

      With some of Rhode Island's restaurants closed or curtailing their menus in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, local seafood harvesters have been coming up with new ways to get their lobsters, fish, and shellfish to customers. And if you're...

Warmer Oceans Changing Fish Populations in Narragansett Bay

By Cynthia Drummond | The Westerly Sun NARRAGANSETT — It will come as no surprise to local anglers that different fish species are now found in Rhode Island waters. In some cases, these fish are displacing ones traditionally found here, and scientists are trying to...

Shellfish Farm Tour Highlights Challenges to Industry

Everyone, it seems, agrees that Rhode Island-grown oysters are among the best to be had at raw bars and restaurants across the state and beyond. As Jean Lambert, engineering/GIS coordinator with the town of Jamestown, said to participants at a tour of an island...

Why There’s No Such Thing as Organic Seafood in the U.S. (mostly)

Sea Grant Law Fellow research uncovers complex issues, risks for would-be organic seafood growers If you prefer to buy organic food whenever possible, you may wonder why you don’t see “organic” farmed seafood in grocery stores or fish markets—and if you do, you may...

Meet Our Team

Azure Cygler

Fisheries & Aquaculture Specialist

Tel: (401) 874-6197 | E-mail: acygler@uri.edu

Nicole Richard

Seafood Safety Specialist
Tel: (401) 874-2977 | E-mail: nicolerichard@uri.edu

Quahogs are one of the most valuable fisheries in Narragansett Bay. To maintain the sustainability of this fishery, better sampling methods are needed for proper stock assessments. In recognition of this, Rhode Island Sea Grant worked with the Commercial Fisheries Foundation, the Department of Environmental Management, and Roger Williams University to develop a research fleet in cooperation with shellfishermen to determine a harvester-applied sampling methodology from which collected data would be used to enhance stock assessments.

The fleet includes five commercial shellfishermen using modern technology to collect environmental and biological data throughout the year, covering areas of the bay not currently surveyed. The goal is to build a more sustainable fishery through a collaborative approach involving shellfishermen, scientists, and resource managers to enhance coastal monitoring and future research.


Fishing Sustainably

Fishers that adopted sustainable harvesting techniques.

Seafood safety

Professionals trained in Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) for Seafood Processing.

National Sea Grant Database

Impacts and accomplishments from all Sea Grant programs can be found in the National Sea Grant Office’s Database.

Users can search by state, year, and focus area.

An Oyster Farm Tour at Hog Island

 Ways to Get Rhode Island   Seafood

Fresh. Local. Sustainable. Rhode Island has some of the best seafood in the world! 

We’ve put together some resources for buying and preparing local seafood, including videos on how to shuck oysters or dig your own clams.

Shellfish Initiative

The Rhode Island Shellfish Initiative was launched in Spring of 2017 in recognition of the importance of shellfish to Rhode Island and as part of the continuing efforts to support a strong local food economy.

Governor Gina M. Raimondo, along with many partners, launched the Rhode Island Shellfish Initiative. Through it, state agencies, industry, academia, and community partners will further efforts to sustainably manage local shellfish stock, promote economic growth and jobs, and celebrate Rhode Island’s unique food cultures. The Initiative consists of three focus areas and related actions:

  • FOOD: Create, sustain and grow markets for RI shellfish
  • JOBS: Retain and expand shellfish-related businesses
  • MANAGEMENT: Prioritize sustainable practices and continued research

This Initiative builds on earlier efforts through the Rhode Island Shellfish Management Plan (SMP) to protect and enhance the state’s shellfish resources.

While tailored to unique needs and opportunities in Rhode Island, the Initiative is also part of a national effort to increase shellfish stock throughout U.S. coastal waters and reap the environmental, social, and economic benefits.

Shellfish Shorts

Rhode Island Sea Grant created a series of videos to highlight the state’s shellfish resource and economy.

Episode 1: How to Shuck

Episode 2: Digging for Dollars

Episode 3: Oyster Flavor

Episode 4: Enjoying Shellfish Safely

Episode 5: The Science of Shellfish Safety

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