Getting Started in Aquaculture
This website includes technical and regulatory information to assist prospective producers who are getting started in aquaculture in Connecticut.
Aquaculture Forms and Guidance
Permission to use space
Anyone interested in conducting aquaculture in Long Island Sound must acquire permission to use that space. Typically, the mechanism for using such space is a lease agreement. To see existing leases in town and state waters, and to view harvest area classifications (areas open/closed to harvest for public consumption), you can use the Connecticut Aquaculture Mapping Atlas: cteco.uconn.edu/projects/aquaculture/viewer.htm For assistance with mapping, contact Tessa Getchis firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-405-9104. To determine which leases are available 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 email@example.com
Permission to use gear systems
Once you have decided on a potential site for the proposed aquaculture activity, and if you are planning to use cultivation gear (e.g. bags, cages, long lines, predator netting, etc.), you need to acquire permission to use such gear. The first step is completing an application form which can be obtained from and submitted to CT DA/BA. Plan ahead! Most applications can take up to a year (or sometimes more!) before the operation is fully permitted.
- Application to Conduct Marine Aquaculture (PDF, Word)
- Natural Diversity Database (NDDB) Form (required for marine applications)
- ENGR 4345 Form (required for marine applications)
- Coastal Zone Management Statement (required for marine applications)
- Import Form (required for import of marine species)
- Eelgrass Survey Guidance (updated August 11, 2016)
For questions or other business related forms, please contact the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture at (203) 874-0696 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Application to Conduct Inland Aquaculture
- Import Form (required for import of freshwater species)
- Water Diversion (link to CT DEEP)
- Water Discharge (link to CT DEEP)
- Baitfish Dealers License Application
- Live Aquatic Plants Nursery/Dealer License
CT DEEP, Fisheries Division
CT DEEP, Boating Safety Division
Town Shellfish Commissions – click here for individual town contacts
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: https://agresearch.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_docs/104-2008%20Aquaculture%20systems.pdf. 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: http://agresearch.umd.edu/nrac/northeastern-us-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: https://seagrant.uconn.edu/focus-areas/sustainable-fisheries/seafoodsafety/ for basic seafood HACCP class. For info, contact Nancy Balcom email@example.com at 860-405-9107.