Project

Understanding the Aquaculture Supply Chain

Securing a future for Maine's Blue Economy.

Changing ocean conditions and increased regulations have put a strain on Maine's fisheries, more and more fishermen have been turning to sustainable aquaculture as an alternative. Still, the influx of aquaculture production in Maine has generated oversaturated in-state markets, forcing growers to explore out-of-state markets. The GMRI Coastal & Marine Economics lab contributes to this collaborative, industry-propelled, interdisciplinary research project will enhance the long-term economic sustainability of aquaculture in Maine by improving our understanding of the industry’s marketing needs, the seafood supply chain, and consumer preferences.

Project Goals:

  • Identify aquaculture harvesters' marketing needs by gathering industry input.
  • Describe seafood supply chains and explore their vulnerabilities and growth opportunities.
  • Evaluate consumer preferences for Maine's aquaculture products.
  • Inform and improve our research efforts by seeking timely feedback from industry stakeholders and scientists.

This project seeks to improve our understanding of potential new and underserved markets for Maine-produced aquaculture seafood. In exploring the possibilities for new markets, we will also assess the seafood supply chain and seek synergies between aquaculture and wild-capture seafood.

To achieve this goal, a collaborative, industry-propelled, interdisciplinary research project will address two specific objectives: (1) identify barriers and opportunities in existing aquaculture and other seafood supply chains that supports increased consumption of Maine marine aquaculture products within U.S. markets, and (2) evaluate consumer preferences for Maine marine aquaculture products with varying attributes and branding.

Improving our understanding of the Maine aquaculture industry’s marketing needs, the seafood supply chain, and consumer preferences will strengthen the industry’s resilience towards economic shocks, such as COVID-19, improve the tools and analysis available for growers and policymakers, and improve the long-term economic sustainability of aquaculture in Maine.

GMRI Team Member

Project Lead and External Collaborators

  • A portrait of a man smiling.

    Christian Brayden

    Project Manager

    Maine Aquaculture Association

  • A portrait of a man smiling.

    Sam Belknap

    Senior Community Development Officer

    Island Institute

  • A portrait of a man smiling outside.

    Keith Evans

    Associate Professor

    University of Maine, School of Economics

  • A portrait of a woman smiling.

    Keri Kaczor

    Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension

    Maine Sea Grant

  • A portrait of a woman smiling.

    Caroline Noblet

    Associate Professor

    University of Maine, School of Economics

Project Sponsor

This project is made possible by generous funding from Maine Sea Grant.

Project Partners

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