Project

Advancing Aquaculture

Supporting the growth of the aquaculture industry in the Gulf of Maine.

The sustainable aquaculture sector in the Gulf of Maine is growing, and its potential to bolster the blue economy in our region is clear. To support the growth of the aquaculture industry here in Maine, we work collaboratively with industry leaders, farmers, researchers, the business community, and other nonprofits to identify and pursue opportunities that will secure its healthy future. Together, we can help the industry meet rising workforce demands, and provide the kinds of business planning and training resources that will lead to long-term profitability.

Aquaculture Projects

Explore the different ways in which we work to expand and support aquaculture industry in the Gulf of Maine.

  • The Maine Aquaculturist

    The Maine Aquaculturist

    The Maine Aquaculturist, an aquaculture knowledge portal, is a comprehensive, accessible, and practical information portal that assists commercial aquaculture businesses in understanding and utilizing business-relevant …

  • Maine Aquaculture Workforce Development Strategy

    Maine Aquaculture Workforce Development Strategy

    In Maine’s aquaculture industry the workforce shortage has been an obstacle to growth for many businesses. This in-depth analysis aims to help determine the current …

  • Commercial Oyster Demonstration Farm Partnership

    Commercial Oyster Demonstration Farm Partnership

    Our project documents the growth of a small oyster farm as it scales to commercial level operations. By keeping track of the successes, challenges, financial …

  • Aquaculture Top Gun

    Aquaculture Top Gun

    Top Gun is a unique entrepreneurial training program that has helped accelerate the growth of over 200 startup companies since 2009. Our program is tailored …

  • Maine Farmed Shellfish Market Analysis

    Maine Farmed Shellfish Market Analysis

    Our project produced a data-driven, quantitative market assessment that informs industry leaders and business owners about the potential scale and scope of markets for farmed …

  • South Portland Pier Aquaculture and Fishing Needs Assessment

    South Portland Pier Aquaculture and Fishing Needs Assessment

    In 2017, GMRI’s Aquaculture Program partnered with the City of South Portland and GEI Consultants to develop a Master Plan or long-term vision for the …

What is aquaculture?

Aquaculture is the practice of growing seafood in a controlled setting, as opposed to harvesting wild populations. Roughly half of all global seafood production comes from aquaculture, and that number is growing rapidly, outpacing wild-harvest production rates. From Atlantic salmon, oysters, mussels, and eels to sea vegetables like kelp, the variety of farmable seafood is vast and growing. Sea farmers and researchers are working to develop techniques for growing additional species like sea scallops, soft-shell clams, hard-shell clams, and additional species of marine algae.

Why aquaculture?

Aquaculture is playing an increasingly important role in the Gulf of Maine. The growing industry has the potential to support livelihoods and our coastal communities, strengthen our working waterfronts, and improve the outlook of long-term local and global food-security.

For those reasons and more, we were inspired to launch an aquaculture program at GMRI to support the growth of the aquaculture industry in the Gulf of Maine. Successful aquaculture approaches produce some of the most sustainable and nutritious food available anywhere, but running a lucrative aquaculture business requires a lot of hard work and careful considerations.

Mook Sea Farm is an oyster farm founded in 1985 on the Damariscotta River in Midcoast Maine. There, owner and operator Bill Mook unites a passion for science and discovery with a fierce entrepreneurial streak.

Our role

The sustainable aquaculture sector in the Gulf of Maine is growing, and its potential to bolster the blue economy in our region is clear. To support the growth of the aquaculture industry here in Maine, we work collaboratively with industry leaders, farmers, researchers, the business community, and other nonprofits to identify and pursue opportunities that will secure its healthy future. Together, we can help the industry meet rising workforce demands, and provide the kinds of business planning and training resources that will lead to long-term profitability.

For more than a decade, we've worked to ensure that the Gulf of Maine’s rich and productive ecosystem supports an array of wild fisheries, as well as the communities that depend upon them. An expanded aquaculture industry doesn’t need to get in the way of healthy wild fisheries, either. In fact, the two approaches depend on a clean environment, a solid understanding of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem, thoughtful management strategies, innovative leadership, and an informed and supportive public. The combination of healthy wild-harvest fisheries and aquaculture farms will help our region meet the challenges of feeding growing populations and adapting to a warming climate.

Aquaculture Team

Read More