The Essential Start Guide to Maine Aquaculture

Outlining the rich opportunities and the overlooked realities of starting an aquaculture business in the state of Maine.

01 – Do Your Research

Learn the basics of business planning, markets, species, gear types, and regulations to start a successful aquaculture business.

 Two white buoys float in a body of water. Black spray painted text reads, sea farm.

02 – Select Your Site

Key decisions must be explored before deciding on a site. The process is rigorous, mistakes can be costly, and poor planning can set you back years.

 A floating wooden building sits at the edge of a body of water. A long ramp down to the water stands nearby.

03 – Get Funding

Financing is personal. As a relatively new and quickly evolving industry in the U.S., financing programs specific to aquaculture are not yet mainstream with most lenders and investors. Here, we lay out the basics.

 Two men wearing waterproof clothing use a wench to lift a heavy bin off a boat.

04 – Running Your Farm

Plan ahead — ensure seed and gear arrive in time for peak growing season. Keep detailed records of the location, density, and growth rates of your crops.

 A man crouches on a boat to inspect aquaculture gear.

05 – Running Your Business

Don't neglect the business side of running a sea farm. Consider insurance options, business structure, compliance with DMR rules, and employment.

 A calculator and tax forms are spread out on a tabletop.

06 – Selling Your Product

Crops reaching market size is a long-awaited reward! Planning & forecasting efforts culminate here, creating sales and profits for some and leaving others with product they can't sell.

 A display of seafood in a grocery store cooler.

What's Next

Want to hear from industry members?

The unique Case Study resources, which are written by people in the different aspects of the industry, provide information from the most trusted of sources about steps that are either common mistakes, are commonly glossed over, or there is a lack of resources for the topic.

Industry Perspectives
 A long wooden dock leads out to a large body of water. People and equipment can be seen at the end of the dock.