University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Commercial Shellfishing

DSCN0034 Steve Plant sorts oysters

Connecticut’s Commercial Shellfishing Industry
Connecticut is a major producer of molluscan shellfish, including oysters, clams, and scallops. The farm-gate value of shellfish products is estimated at greater than $30 million. There are more than 40 companies and 300 employees in the industry. For economic data, visit Connecticut Bureau of Aquaculture Website.

Getting Started in Shellfish Aquaculture
Extension professionals can assist prospective farmers with the development of business plans, enterprise budgets and the design, permitting and implementation of aquaculture projects. One-on one-consultations and training opportunities are available. Regulatory agency officials provide up to date information on policies and procedures.

Regulatory Contacts
CT Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture (DA/BA) – David Carey
CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Office of Long Island Sound Programs – Kristen Bellantuono
CT DEEP, Marine Fisheries Division – Mark Johnson
CT DEEP, Boating Safety Division – Mike Payton
US Army Corps of Engineers – Cori M. Rose
Town Shellfish Commissions – contact the town hall for information

Extension Service
Connecticut Sea Grant/UConn Extension:
Tessa Getchis – shellfish business development, permitting
Nancy Balcom – HACCP training
Anoushka Concepcion – marketing
Robert Pomeroy – resource economics

Basic Steps
Step 1: Do the research. What products are in demand? What market niche will your business fill?
Step 2. Consult a local aquaculture resource expert.
Step 3. Select species and gear.
Aquaculture cultivation practice fact sheets and the Northeastern Aquaculture Management Guide are highly recommended reading
Step 4. Select site(s).
The Aquaculture Mapping Atlas is a free, online GIS-based mapping tool.
Step 5. Complete the appropriate applications as designated by regulatory agencies.


Commonly Used Forms

Grow Shellfish  — Grow Seaweed — Grow Both Shellfish&Seaweed

Aquaculture Business Forms
Lease Applicationsstate waters; contact the local shellfish commission – town waters- seaweed special form,

Aquaculture Pre-Application Screening Form

All prospective farmers must complete a pre-application screening form. The purpose of this form is provide regulators with an overview of the proposed project, and in response, regulators identify any concerns or potential conflicts, and the next course of action for  project.

The form is submitted to the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture (DA/BA), who serves as the State Aquaculture Coordinator. DA/BA ensures the form is complete and then forwards the form to all reviewing agencies including shellfish commissions. The agencies are required to respond with comments within 15 days to DA/BA. DA/BA consolidates feedback and provides response form to applicant, and copies back to all agencies.

“Pre-application form for Company Name” in subject line.




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Marker Buoy Application
Application for Certificate of Permission – COP
Application for Structures, Dredging and Tidal Wetlands Permit or SDFTW