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Deck Hand - Technical Lead

Bangs Island Mussels Portland, ME

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Full time. Year-round. Long-term position. No aquaculture experience necessary.

Our Mission:

To grow the finest seafood using only environmentally sustainable methods.

Our Company:

We are a mission-driven family business that has been operating on the Portland waterfront for 12 years. We farm primarily mussels, alongside kelp, on floating rafts in Casco Bay. Recently, we have scaled up our kelp farming operation to one of the largest seaweed farms in Maine. We are a growing company, and depend on the help of a dedicated team to achieve our goals. Now is the time to start an exciting career in aquaculture!

The Position:

Seeking an individual who is interested in aquaculture/the ocean, good with their hands, not afraid of some hard work, and willing to commit for a year or longer. Must have experience with work on the water (ideally the ocean), in some form. We have designed this job as a good entry point for a long career within our company or the larger aquaculture industry. There are opportunities for advancement.  ***Technical skills:  some experience with designing, fabricating, and/or repairing various systems is highly desirable.***  

The deck hand job is part of a team whose duties are whole farm production, maintenance, and operations. This team of 7 people will do the majority of their work on the water, either from our work boats or on the mussel rafts themselves. The rest of the work will be on land at our wharf facility or net yard. 

Likely Duties: ***We will train you to do all of these things*** 

  • Mussel harvest: Year-round. Includes hauling lines, picking mussels, and some lifting of heavy items. You will get up close and personal with our main crop, the blue mussel. 
  • Mussel seeding/socking: This is how we attach small mussels to our lines to grow bigger. Seeding involves shoveling, grading mussels, and crawling around on rafts. 
  • Net changes: We wrap each mussel raft (of which we have 26) in large nets to keep out predators. These nets get dirty and need to be changed out with clean nets. We use power washers to help us clean the nets and a net reel to help us haul the heavy, dirty nets out of the water. This involves lots of power washing with periods of kneeling on the rafts to tie up the nets. 
  • Net mending: We do this on land. We patch any holes in the nets and fold them up to be redeployed. 
  • General maintenance: Often we do repair work or projects on the rafts, boats, engines, the shop, everything. Saltwater has a way of breaking things very quickly. We try to prevent that and make repairs when it happens. 
  • Kelp farming: We farm kelp on long lines near our mussel rafts. A vegetable of the sea, it is delicious.  This is a seasonal endeavor with heavy work concentrations in the fall and spring.
  • Systems work: helping to design, build, and/or fix various systems like conveyors, water plumbing, chain-driven machines, etc.  No need to be a mechanic, but it is helpful if you can at least tinker with machines. 


  • Experience working on the water
  • English language proficiency 
  • Ability to work as a team in a tight environment
  • Physical capabilities: strength, balance, hand-eye coordination, and stamina, necessary to complete jobs in various areas, including on the water
  • Ability to lift, push and/or pull at least 50 pounds
  • Manual dexterity as needed to operate a variety of equipment
  • Interest in working in a range of weather conditions and ability to tolerate exposure to typical noises and smells associated with a farm
  • Dedication to personal and team safety 


Monday-Friday. Full-time: 40 hours per week. Start time at the Captain’s discretion, but typically 6am or 7 am. End time is variable, but typically no earlier than 2pm. 


$18 per hour with opportunities to earn wage increases. We offer a comprehensive benefits package including FULL (company-sponsored) HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE, dental insurance, 2 weeks of PTO, 6 paid holidays, and other benefits. 

To apply: 

Send a resume  AND a brief explanation about why you are interested in working with us (cover letter). In the cover letter, please explain your relevant ocean experience. We also require at least 1 professional reference. Email all materials to Matt Moretti at [email protected]