Welcome to the new Online Resource Guide for Connecticut Shellfish and Aquaculture. It provides  information and tools about all things shellfish and aquaculture in Connecticut. The site is hosted by Connecticut Sea Grant and UConn Extension, and is a collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.

Shellfish are important to Connecticut’s coastal communities and economies, the waters of Long Island Sound and the many species of marine wildlife that rely upon them.The harvest and cultivation of shellfish along our shores provides local food, jobs, contributes to the maritime economy, and shellfisheries are an important part of the state’s history and culture. 

Connecticut’s aquaculture industry is an important agriculture sector. Aquaculture is the 7th highest valued agriculture product in the state according to the USDA Census of Agriculture https://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/AgCensus/2017/index.php. Marine aquaculture is the largest sector.

In 2019, a total of 51 companies and 300 employees operated on 60,000 acres of area in Connecticut. Different than adjacent states, much of the area is used for bottom culture and transplanting so not all of the area is actively farmed at any one time. There are approximately 17,000 thousand acres of public oyster beds that serve as a seed source for the oyster industry. The value of the oyster industry was steady at nearly $16 million dollars. The value of the quahog (hard clam) industry was $6.6 million, a decrease from the previous year. Farmers also grew bay scallops, blue mussels and kelp.  In addition to marine aquaculture, there are a number of land-based operations that cultivate food fish including European sea bass and eels, hydroponic plants and vegetables, fish for stock enhancement such as trout and salmon, baitfish, and a variety of ornamentals fishes and invertebrates. 

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plate of oysters on ice

shellfish for sale on table