While there are considerable support resources available to Maine’s aquaculture businesses, the lack of a centralized information hub prevents aquaculturists from accessing and benefiting from them. The core idea behind The Maine Aquaculturist was to improve aquaculturists' abilities to access those resources, and maximize the benefit they see from those resources. The knowledge portal was designed based on feedback from a significant user testing period with Maine’s aquaculture businesses, which helped us understand how they access information, the type of information they are most interested in, and how the site would be most useful to the industry.
The Maine Aquaculturist provides a valuable service as the industries go-to source for understanding the key steps in the aquaculture business lifecycle, learning what resources are available, when to tap into a resource, how to use it, why to use it, and common mistakes to avoid. It also includes a "getting started" guide for new aquaculturists that clearly lays out how to begin the process of starting an aquaculture farm. The portal also has a resource database that can be easily utilized by current aquaculturists looking for specific information on topics relevant to their interests and needs. Additionally, the portal includes a capital access page that outlines the different ways an aquaculture business can acquire the capital needed to start or grow their business such as grants, loans, equity investments, and risk management. Users can also find a job board specific to aquaculture jobs in Maine and new information on regulation changes and upcoming legislature information pertaining to aquaculture with the Portal.
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