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Gear & Husbandry

At this point, you already have a plan for the gear type, layout, and installation – since this is required information to get a lease or LPA. Your next step is to purchase, transport, and install it on your sea farm.

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Questions

Oyster Gear

Gear for oyster and kelp aquaculture can usually be purchased from local dealers or marine supply stores. We've generated a list of common gear suppliers.

It depends. Commonly used floating cages such as OysterGro or Flow N Grow can be purchased as kits or pre-assembled. Pre-assembled are more expensive, but shipping costs are higher because the assembled cages take up more room on the truck. The best way to decide is by pricing out the different options including shipping, estimate the labor costs to build the cages, and consider if you even have the labor to build the cages. Be sure to include the cost of pneumatic tools, which can cost $700 upwards, and fasteners. Simple 2 x 4 jigs are handy to shape soft mesh bags.

If you’re growing oysters, probably. A tumbler/sorter helps you quickly sort oysters by size and chips the growing edge to produce a deep cup. You can find YouTube tutorials for DIY tumblers made from PVC tubing or wire mesh and a windshield wiper motor for $2,000 - $3,000; or purchase a commercial grade aluminum one for $10,000 - $30,000. These may seem expensive but will save you money on labor; and help you keep up with sorting, processing, and harvesting.

Mussel Gear

Mussel farming gear usually isn’t available locally and needs to be shipped internationally from Canada, New Zealand, or Europe at considerable cost. Other mussel farmers are probably your best source of information about purchasing gear.

If you’re growing mussels, probably. This will help speed up the production process and give a better-quality product.

If you are growing in Maine, you certainly do. Predator nets will help keep out eider ducks and other predators that will devour your mussels.

Scallop Gear

Specialized scallop gear such as lantern nets and ear-hanging equipment aren’t widely available but Hamilton Marine carry lantern nets; and groups such as Maine Sea Grant, Coastal Enterprises Incorporated, and the Maine Aquaculture Co-op may have some available through their scallop commercialization work.

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