For the second consecutive year, the Cape Ann Seafood Exchange on Rogers Street is the lone local recipient of a Saltonstall-Kennedy grant award, NOAA is set to announce later today.

NOAA Regional Administrator John K. Bullard confirmed that CASE received $363,604 in this round of funding for its three-pronged strategy that, according to its application, will  "enhance and help secure the long-term viability of CASE as a major stakeholder and critical asset to the New England fishing industry and the Gloucester waterfront."

The funding also will be used to accelerate CASE's plans to upgrade its facility while expanding its capacity "to purchase, process and market under-utilized species," CASE said in its application.

Last year, CASE received $361,670 for its project to build a sustainable redfish fishery by developing new processing methods, purchasing innovative equipment and marketing the species to retailers and consumers.

The recent CASE application was one of six separate proposals from four local applicants looking to share in the $25 million that was portioned out as part of the S-K program.

According to Bullard, NOAA received 279 separate grant applications nationally seeing $76 million in funding and recommended funding 88.

"Of that number of successful applicants, 33 — or 38 percent — came from our region that stretches from North Carolina to Maine," Bullard said. "I wish there could have been more. It's a tough, tough competition."

The unsuccessful local candidates include the Fishermen's Wives Association, which submitted three applications seeking a total of $305,000 for projects related to seafood culinary education, fishery sustainability and the expanded use of under-utilized species; a Gloucester-based coalition of community and academic interests that sought $280,000 for a pilot bivalve aquaculture project; and the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, which declined to provide details of its application.

Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT and check out his blog, Glosta Daily, on gloucestertimes.com

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