MIL-OSI USA: King Announces $4.3 Million Rural Development Grant for Passamaquoddy Tribe to Build Eel Farm

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US Senate News:

Source: United States Senator for Maine Angus King
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME) today announced that the Passamaquoddy Tribe has been awarded $3.4 million from the Indigenous Animals Harvesting and Meat Processing (IAG) grant program — part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development program — to build an eel farm.
The IAG program was designed to support the priorities of Tribal Nations that utilize traditional harvesting methods and indigenous animals such as bison, reindeer, salmon and eels. The grant — one of eight awarded across the nation — will help the Passamaquoddy Tribe fund the latest technology to grow eels in a controlled aquaculture facility, as opposed to relying on wild eel harvesting.
“This $4.3 million grant for the Passamaquoddy Tribe to further bolster their eel aquaculture work is not only an economic investment, but also an investment in the Tribe’s rich tradition of eel harvesting,” said Senator King. “With the current wild eel harvesting quotas remaining in place, this grant is even more important as the Passamaquoddy looks to sustain and build on their eel fishery. This funding from the USDA’s Rural Development program will help further modernize our state’s seafood industry and ensure the Tribe has the tools and resources to thrive.”
Senator King is a strong advocate for Maine’s coastal communities and ocean economy. He worked to secure the future of Maine’s lobster fishery as they faced an “economic death sentence,” preventing the industry from facing devastating regulations. He’s introduced legislation to spur economic development in coastal Maine communities and to boost marketing efforts and overseas sales for American agricultural products, including seafood, as well as introduced a bipartisan bill to create an aquaculture office to better support farmers and harvesters.