For Businesses


Extension Assistance and Training

One on One Consultations:

Foundations of Shellfish Farming (Outline) is a training course for new and prospective farmers and those who simply seek to learn more about aquaculture practices and techniques. Topics that will be covered include how to establish and operate a shellfish business, leasing and permitting requirements, considerations for gear, vessels, and facilities, shellfish biology, aquaculture techniques and best practices, and risks involved farming shellfish. Although the course will concentrate on Long Island Sound waters within the jurisdiction of Connecticut, the topics and practices covered are applicable in the northeast U.S. and potentially beyond. *This course meets the Connecticut Department of Agriculture eligibility requirement for the submission of a Joint Agency Application for Marine Aquaculture.  

  • When: Tuesdays, 5:30pm - 7:30pm, weekly from January 24th to April 11th 
  • Location: UConn Avery Point Campus, Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.  Building, Room 312
  • Questions:

Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) (Overview) All aquaculture operations are required to have someone trained in seafood sanitation, and specifically to learn how to develop a HACCP plan. The Connecticut Sea Grant program offers this course in the spring and fall. Plan early as courses do fill up quickly.

Associations and Groups
Connecticut does not have an active aquaculture association. The Connecticut Seafood Council, a marketing-focused group, is in the process of being re-established by the legislature. Contact the CT Department of Agriculture for more information.

Financial Assistance
While startup funding is not generally available, there are several programs that may be of interest to new or existing producers:

Grant Opportunities

Species and Systems

We recommend that prospective farmers review basic materials on species and systems. There are a series of fact sheets available through the Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Center. Also, the Aquaculture Management Guide is a great resource to understand the basic physical, environmental and disease parameters associated with cultured shellfish, fish and seaweeds.

Learn more about

Overview of the Regulatory Process (Shellfish and Seaweed Aquaculture)

There are three main steps that comprise the regulatory process for marine aquaculture, including:

  1. Permission to use the space; involves:
    • Issuing an agreement called a lease or license
  2. Permission to place gear or structures; involves:
    • Required for use of fixed gear such as bags, cages, longlines, upwellers, etc.
    • Review for Potential Impacts to Significant Human Uses
    • Review for Potential Impacts to Protected Species and Habitats
  3. Business Operations Authorization; involves:
    • Shellfish Sanitation Training
    • Facility and Vessel Inspection
    • Shellfish Sales Licensing

Regulatory authorities 

  • David Carey | CT Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture | (203) 874-0696 | The director of the CT DA/BA serves as the State Aquaculture Coordinator and is the liaison for all aquaculture activity and interacts with all other local, state, and federal regulatory authorities.
  • Shannon Kelly | CT Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture
  • Sue Jacobson | CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP)
  • Yolanda Cooley| CT DEEP, Boating Safety Division
  • Bruce Williams | CT DEEP, Fisheries Division
  • Cori M. Rose  | US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Town Shellfish Commissions | Click here for individual town contacts

Guidance for Site Selection, Permitting, Sales and Farm Management

Application Forms

Required forms - Permission to use space     

Required forms - Permission to use gear systems

Required forms – Production licenses allowing sales of aquaculture products

Connecticut's Aquaculture Permitting Workgroup

In response to an increasing number of marine aquaculture operations being proposed in Connecticut coastal areas, an interagency workgroup of comprised of local, state and federal resource managers was formed. The workgroup's purpose is to streamline the marine aquaculture application and review process. It does so by holding quarterly interagency meetings, conducting on-demand stakeholder outreach workshops, and by developing and improving aquaculture site selection tools. In doing so, the workgroup strives to:

  • Increase public and applicant knowledgeable of the requirements of the permitting process
  • Improve communication among agencies and between agencies and producers
  • Address and minimize effects of cultivation practices on the environment
  • Allow for safe boating and navigation
  • Avoid use conflicts