Commercial Aquaculture

Getting Started in Aquaculture

This website includes technical and regulatory information to assist prospective producers who are getting started in aquaculture in Connecticut.



Marine aquaculture permitting involves authorization to use the physical farming space, as well as authorization to use the structures (e.g. cultivation gear). The Guide to Permitting Marine Aquaculture is available to aid prospective producers.

Individuals are encouraged to use the Aquaculture Mapping Atlas to inform their site selection process. The Atlas contains human use and environmental data that is important to consider when planning for aquaculture.


Permission to use space

Anyone interested in conducting commercial aquaculture or aquaculture-related research, outreach or restoration projects must acquire permission to use that space. Typically, the mechanism for using such space is a lease or license agreement. To determine available area in town waters, contact the local shellfish commission (see list below). For state waters, please contact: CT DA/BA at (203) 874-0696 x 103 or

     Application Forms

  1. State Shellfish Lease Area Application
  2. State Seaweed Area License Application
  3. Branford Initiative Area License Application


Permission to use gear systems

To use cultivation gear (e.g. bags, cages, long lines, predator netting, etc.), you must submit a Joint Application for Marine Aquaculture (see below) which must be submitted to the State Aquaculture Coordinator located at the office of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture in Milford, CT.

     Application Forms

  1. Joint Agency Application for Marine Aquaculture (version 05/23/19)
  2. Natural Diversity Database (NDDB) Form
  3. ENGR 4345 Form
  4. Coastal Zone Management Statement
  5. Scientific/Resource Assessment License Application
  6. Eelgrass Survey Guidance (version 08/11/16)


Production Licenses

A separate application is required to sell aquaculture products (for public consumption) to the public.

Application Forms

  1. Shellstock Shipper 1 (Aq-39_ShipperI_Combined_2019) Full Application
  2. Shellstock Shipper I – Aq-39_ShipperI_Combined_2019 Short Application
  3. Seaweed Producer License Application
  4. Food Manufacturing Establishment License

    To learn what forms are required for your operation, please contact the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture at (203) 874-0696 or email:



    Regulatory Contacts

    CT Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture (DA/BA)
    David Carey and Shannon Kelly (203) 874-0696

    CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)
    Krista Romero (860) 424-3399

    CT DEEP, Boating Safety Division
    Mike Payton

    US Army Corps of Engineers
    Cori M. Rose

    Town Shellfish Commissions – click here for individual town contacts

    Extension Service
    Connecticut Sea Grant and UConn Extension:
    Tessa Getchis  (860) 405-9104 – shellfish/finfish aquaculture, permitting
    Anoushka Concepcion (860) 405-9105 – seaweed aquaculture
    Nancy Balcom (860) 405-9107 – seafood safety, HACCP training
    Robert Pomeroy (860) 405-9215 – agricultural economics, marine ornamentals


    Aquaculture Species and Systems

    Farmers are restricted to the use of native species only. Any product including eggs, larvae, seed, broodstock and shell must be source from Long Island Sound or Connecticut or Long Island, New York-based hatcheries. Special permission may be obtained to import aquaculture product. Contact the CT DA/BA for details.

    To learn more about aquaculture systems and species click here: To learn more about cultivation gear, practices and concerns (e.g. pests, predators, diseases, etc. relative to this region of the U.S., take a look at the Northeast Aquaculture Management Guide:


    Seafood Safety Training

    All aquaculture operations are required to have someone trained in seafood safety (sanitation). The Connecticut Sea Grant program offers this course in the spring and fall. Plan early as courses do fill up quickly. See: for basic seafood HACCP class. For info, contact Nancy Balcom at 860-405-9107.


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