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Hatchery Assistant

Mook Sea Farm Walpole, ME

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Mook Sea Farm is seeking full-time Hatchery Assistants to work in our oyster hatchery, located in Walpole, ME. We rear the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) from egg to adult size. This is an opportunity to be a part of a team of people who are passionate about oysters and the future of aquaculture in Maine. This role is an entry-level laborer position that supports the production of millions of oysters annually.

Employment type: Full-time

Number of openings for this position: 2


  • 8–10hour shifts
  • 5 days per week
  • Working weekends
  • Working Holidays (Ability to “Bank” them for later use)


  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Short-term disability
  • Retirement plan with employer match
  • Health savings account with employer contribution


Hatchery Assistants’ primary responsibilities are to support the daily operation of our hatchery. Assistants do this by maintaining the equipment and facilities where we grow millions of larval and juvenile oysters using a variety of culture systems. Duties will include cleaning and maintaining tanks/equipment and carefully following our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)/checklists. Hatchery assistants are expected to carry out daily tasks with attention to detail and a reliable work ethic. During the hatchery offseason, August – December, Hatchery Assistants’ responsibilities will shift to work with our grow-out operations team raising and processing thousands of oysters for wholesale. This work is performed on the Damariscotta River and in our packing plant. The timing of this offseason work may vary based on the needs of the hatchery and the farm.

Education and Experience

Prior education in aquaculture is not required. Prior experience working in a fast-paced environment doing manual labor is required and production/farming experience is preferred. We can train the right person who has an interest in the work we’re doing, a positive attitude, and great attention to detail.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Teamwork & collaboration, as well as ability to take ownership of tasks and work independently.
  • Ability to follow strict protocols.
  • Ability to multitask effectively.
  • Ability to complete tasks in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Clear and direct communication.
  • Ability to work systematically and problem solve.
  • A valid driver’s license and reliable transportation to and from work is required.
  • Willingness to work in a variety of challenging conditions.
  • Understanding of the scientific method and data collection is a plus.

Physical Requirements

This position requires an average of eight hours per day of standing and moving through tight spaces, and requires physical strength, balance, hand-eye coordination, and stamina necessary to complete work in the hatchery. The position requires an ability to lift, push, and/or pull up to 50 pounds, and requires manual dexterity to operate a variety of equipment. Employees should be able to tolerate exposure to typical noises associated with the hatchery. We use bleach and a variety of other cleaning supplies to carry out daily Hatchery Assistant job duties. The work involves a lot of equipment maintenance, and the work can be dirty. Hatchery Assistants should have no aversion to manual labor.

Schedule and Pay

This is a full time, year-round job with hourly pay and benefits. Our paydays are bi-weekly on Thursdays. Regular schedules from Friday – Tuesday or Monday – Friday are available. The hatchery operates 7-day/week and our Assistants will be expected to work 5 days/week. Weekend shifts will be scheduled on a rotation with other staff. Hatchery staff are required to be available to respond to alarm calls within 1 hour when working the weekend rotation. However, Assistants will be the secondary responder and are less likely to have to respond. Daily shifts are from 8AM - 4PM and are scheduled for 8hrs daily. However, this position requires a flexible work schedule that may vary in the number of hours worked in a day, or in which the stop times may vary because we are responsible for live oysters. Holiday work is required on a rotation with other hatchery personnel and employees can "bank" holidays for future Paid Time Off.


Applications are accepted starting immediately and will be reviewed as they are received. Mook Sea Farm is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $17.00 - $18.00 per hour

Expected hours: 40 – 45 per week


  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Employee discount
  • Health insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Retirement plan
  • Vision insurance


  • 10 hour shift
  • 8 hour shift
  • Day shift
  • Evening shift
  • Holidays
  • Monday to Friday
  • On call
  • Overtime
  • Weekends as needed

People with a criminal record are encouraged to apply


  • Driver's License (Required)

Work Location: In person