Our Work


Sustainable Seafood



Shellfish Management Plan



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.

Drivers of Toxic Algal Blooms in Narragansett Bay

Recent research highlights influence of seasonal patterns in triggering neurotoxin production from phytoplankton species with implications for shellfish industry.

Seaweed Aquaculture in Rhode Island

This webinar introduces seaweed aquaculture and this new industry’s potential for Rhode Island and the Northeast.

East Providence High School Career and Technical Center wins 2023 RI Seafood Cook-off

Five student culinary teams competed in the 2023 Rhode Island High School Seafood Cook-Off on April 27.

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...

Meet Our Team

Azure Cygler

Fisheries & Aquaculture Specialist

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

Robbie Hudson

Fisheries & Aquaculture Specialist

Tel: (401) 874-6218 | E-mail: rhudson@uri.edu

Nicole Richard

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

Abbey Green

Coastal Projeect Manager
Tel: (401) 874-2977 | E-mail: abbey_greene@uri.edu 


Partnership for Research Excellence in Sustainable Seafood (PRESS)

Do you have a concern or idea regarding Rhode Island’s seafood?⁠

National Aquaculture Initiative

Enhancing Production of Coastal, Marine, and Great Lakes Aquaculture Species

If you are a member of the Rhode Island seafood industry – a processor, harvester, grower, wholesaler, retailer, or other seafood business – funding is available for research projects to address issues you may be facing.⁠

The new Partnership for Research Excellence in Sustainable Seafood (PRESS) is a $1 million, four-year effort, established through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and run by the University of  Rhode Island

The program aims to identify issues of concern and to respond directly with grants funded through a rapid response mechanism. A coordinating committee most familiar with these issues includes academic institutions; state, federal and non-governmental agencies; and industry experts in fisheries, aquaculture, and seafood in Rhode Island.

The goal of the initiative is to provide a mechanism of funding allowing a nimble and rapid response to critical issues in the seafood sector through interdisciplinary collaborative research encompassing the seafood industry, academic institutions, state and federal agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.

Proposals with the potential to positively impact the Rhode Island seafood system by identifying and addressing emerging and pressing issues affecting that system will be considered. The goal of the funding is to complement, build upon, or enhance (not duplicate) other sources of federal, state, or private funding.

Therefore, priority will be given to projects that provide a strong rationale of need and address urgent concerns facing the Rhode Island seafood system but are challenged to find funding elsewhere. Two types of funding requests will be considered:

**  Proposals can be submitted anytime and will be reviewed by topic-related experts to determine which projects will be funded.⁠

Feasibility Projects

Projects that seek to provide a proof of concept and/or will open the possibility for access to other funds. Project duration is limited to one year with a budget not exceeding $30,000.

Funded projects will be able to apply for a one-time, one-year nocost extension if needed. Projects showing proof of concept will be considered for additional funding.

* No project end date can extend beyond September 30, 2026.

Operational Projects

Projects targeted at implementation or more thorough study of issues or problems to develop solutions.

Project duration will be one to three years with a budget not exceeding $50,000 per year. Larger requests (up to $100,000 per year) will be considered but must provide strong reasoning and show broad partnerships to support the need of the project.

Funded projects will be able to apply for a one-time, one-year, no-cost extension if needed.

* No project end date can extend beyond September 30, 2026.

Subject to the availability of funding, Sea Grant anticipates $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 will be available for research projects and programs that will develop and refine methods, protocols, techniques, and/or strategies to enhance the production of one or more life stages of aquaculture species (described below) with the overall goal of improving the efficiency, output, and profitability of commercial coastal, marine, or Great Lakes region aquaculture businesses.

Projects that focus on the following aquaculture categories and organisms in both marine and freshwater are eligible for this competition and include:

• Microalgae and macroalgae (seaweed) • Molluscs • Crustaceans • Ornamentals

• Baitfish • Finfish species for food production • Misc. invertebrates

Proposals are sought that will support broad, non-proprietary research to address issues and/or barriers to aquaculture production; make that information available to aquaculture businesses; and preferably include participation and involvement of Sea Grant extension personnel and industry stakeholders.

This opportunity is open to: any individual; any public or private corporation, partnership, or other association or entity (including any Sea Grant College, Sea Grant Institute or other institution); or any State, political subdivision of a State, Tribal government or agency or officer thereof. Applications require the standard 50% non-federal match for Sea Grant projects.

Application Deadline:  Apr 03, 2024


Aquaculture  Deep Dive Series

Rhode Island’s Shared Waters

Aquaculture Conflict Resolution

Seaweed Aquaculture in Rhode Island

Tour of Hog Island Oyster Farm

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

Shellfish Management Plan

Beginning  in January 2013,  wild harvest, aquaculture, and restoration communities worked together to define key issues to help guide the state’s first shellfish management plan, along with science recommendations, to ensure sound management of shellfish resources into the future.

RI Sea Grant, in collaboration with multiple partners, facilitated the creation of the Rhode Island Shellfish Management Plan (SMP) adopted in  2014.

This document provides comprehensive policy guidance regarding management and protection measures for shellfish, such as quahogs and oysters, located in state marine waters.

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