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Background Techniques such as high-throughput DNA sequencing and subsequent bioinformatics analyses can aid national priorities including: fisheries management, aquaculture development, food and water safety, species and habitat conservation, seafood consumer protection, and natural products discovery. Advances in these ‘omics methodologies can improve the ability to monitor and understand the biological communities of the oceans and Great Lakes. ‘Omics approaches can be faster, cheaper, less invasive, and can provide more information than traditional methods. An expansion in the use of ‘omics is underway at NOAA. Investment in ‘omics is essential to increase efficiency, improve ecosystem assessments and forecasts, advance stewardship, and promote the American Blue Economy, which is estimated to contribute $304 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product and 3.3 million jobs annually. The Blue Economy includes the resources, services, and benefits provided by the oceans and Great Lakes, such as jobs, food, water, energy, recreation, and commercial products. Research Priorities: Examples of appropriate subtopics for research applications from small businesses include, but are not limited to the following: Omics in Monitoring and Detection: Improve detecting and monitoring of harmful algal blooms, toxins, pathogens, and invasive species to protect health and coastal economies. Omics in Fisheries Management: Support consumer protection and sustainable fishing practices by using genetic analysis to identify fraudulent and illegally sourced seafood products. Omics in Aquaculture: Foster the development of aquaculture by using ‘omics to optimize animal health, yield, and product characteristics while supporting safe and sustainable farming practices. Omics in Fisheries and Protected Species: Sustain fisheries resources and protect vulnerable species using ‘omics to increase the breadth, depth, and throughput of information used to evaluate target populations’ structure and distribution, generate indices of abundance, and characterize the food webs that support them.
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