State initiates aquaculture accelerator program, investment fund at NELHA

  • Temperature controlled sea water is pumped into abalone tanks at Big Island Abalone at NELHA. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Cold deep sea water is mixed with warmer, more shallow water to create the optimal temperature for abalone growth at Big Island Abalone at NELHA.

  • Seaweed is grown to feed the stock at Big Island Abalone at NELHA. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • 4 million abalone are grown from babies to market at Big Island Abalone at NELHA. (Photos by Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Baby abalone cling to seaweed at Big Island Abalone at NELHA.

  • Abalone is grown from brood stock to market size at Big Island Abalone at NELHA. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Big Island Abalone senior adviser Hiroshi Arai holds a 3-year-old ready for market at the NEHLA aquaculture farm.

  • A three year old abalone is ready for market at Big Island Abalone at NELHA. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Big Island Abalone senior adviser Hiroshi Arai checks on the gastropod shellfish at the NEHLA aquaculture farm.

  • Big Island Abalone Senior Adviser Hiroshi Arai checks on the gastropod shellfish at the NEHLA aquaculture farm. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Aquaculture companies at the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park including shrimp broodstock farms, fish hatcheries, seahorse farm and algae pond. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)
  • Big Island Abalone stretches over three acres at NELHA. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Abalone is grown from brood stock to market size at Big Island Abalone at NELHA. (Photos by Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Temperature controlled sea water is pumped into abalone tanks at Big Island Abalone at NELHA. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — The state announced Thursday a concrete plan to import big ideas, and potentially big dollars, to West Hawaii through the vehicle of the global aquaculture industry.