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Aquaculture Grower Profiles

November 01, 2021

Marine aquaculture is an important industry with economic, environmental, and social benefits. In the U.S. farming of fish, shellfish, and seaweeds is providing sustainable seafood and helping build resilience in a changing environment.

On a foggy day at low tide, oyster bags are above the water's surface as a Hog Island boat passes by.

Aquaculture producers work at all hours in all conditions, with weathered hands flipping oyster cages, plucking fresh kelp from their lines and tending net pens. These aquaculture producers are also committed stewards of the environment, managing their farms with sustainability in mind. In these Tide to Table Profiles, aquaculture farmers explain the stewardship and care that goes into keeping their crop as well as their businesses alive. Learn more about aquaculture and try a recipe idea straight from the farmers. 

Atlantic Tide to Table Aquaculture Profile

The U.S. aquaculture industry produced $1.5 billion worth of seafood in 2018, with 41 percent of that value coming from the Atlantic region. Along the Atlantic coast, many aquaculture businesses are farming the ocean and helping to bring fresh and healthy seafood to market. 

Atlantic Sea Farms

A smiling Atlantic Sea Farms employee stands on a dock while holding up a jar of 'Atlantic Sea Farms Fermented Seaweed Salad.'
Atlantic Sea Farms produces specialty kelp products such as fermented seaweed salad (pictured), kelp smoothie cubes, kelp sauerkraut, kelp kimchi, and more. Credit: Atlantic Sea Farms.

Atlantic Sea Farms fosters kelp aquaculture in Maine by providing free kelp seeds with a buy-back guarantee that they will purchase the fully raised seaweed at harvest. Then, they process that kelp into unique culinary products.

Get to know Atlantic Sea Farms

Pacific Island Tide to Table Aquaculture Profile

Pacific aquaculture production is very diverse. Key nearshore shellfish species include oysters, clams, and land-based facilities growing red abalone. Offshore species include Mediterranean mussels, rock scallops, finfish, and a variety of seaweeds. Aquaculture enterprises in the region are helping expand access to fresh seafood and year-round aquaculture jobs.

Blue Ocean Mariculture

A school of farmed Kanpachi swimming off the coast of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Almaco jack (Seriola rivoliana) is in the same family as yellowtail and is prized by chefs. The species is marked by a dark blue-green upper body with a lavender-tinted belly and elongated fins. Credit: Blue Ocean Mariculture.

Using large, open-ocean net pens off of Kailua-Kona, Blue Ocean Mariculture sustainably raises a native Hawaiian almaco jack species that they brand as Kanpachi.

Get to know Blue Ocean Mariculture

Gulf of Mexico Tide to Table Aquaculture Profile

Two Docks Shellfish

Numerous baskets full of harvested clams from Two Docks Shellfish.
In a typical harvest during the high season, Two Docks Shellfish gathers more than 40,000 clams. Credit: Two Docks Shellfish.

In Florida's Tampa Bay, Two Docks Shellfish specializes in growing clams and oysters, including Sunray Venus Clams which are unique to the region.

Get to know Two Docks Shellfish

West Coast Tide to Table Aquaculture Profiles

Hog Island Oyster Co.

An Oyster Farmer on the Hog Island Oyster Company's farm, standing near the long lines in the Tomales Bay that hold the Seapa Oyster baskets in place.
An oyster farmer oversees the rack-and-bag system; long cables that hold submerged oyster baskets in place. Credit: Hog Island Oyster Co.

Hog Island Oyster Co. uses marine biology to sustainably farm shellfish in California’s Tomales Bay.

Get to know Hog Island Oyster Co.

Hump Island Oyster Company

A smiling Hump Island employee wearing a hat and waders pours a large plastic bin of juvenile oysters into a tumbler, as a second employee uses his hand to help move the oysters down the tumbler's chute. A third employee runs water from a hose into the chute.
Hump Island employees pour juvenile oysters into the tumbler. Credit: Hump Island Oyster Company.

Founded by a civil engineer, Hump Island Oyster Company is a family-run business that farms oysters and kelp in the chilly waters of Southeast Alaska.

Get to know Hump Island Oyster Company

Swinomish Shellfish Company

Raw oysters rest on a flip bag at the Swinomish Shellfish Company's farm.
Oysters sit on the farm’s mesh bags used for raising the shellfish to market size. Credit: Swinomish Shellfish Company.

The Swinomish Shellfish Company specializes in growing Pacific Oysters in Washington’s Skagit Bay, where tribes have harvested shellfish for thousands of years.

Get to know Swinomish Shellfish Company

Sustainable Seafood from Tide to Table

The Tide to Table series profiles members of the aquaculture community, who provide valuable jobs and increase access to fresh, sustainably sourced seafood in the United States. Aquaculture is about more than just seafood production. It is about ecosystem stewardship, coastal communities, and economic opportunities.

See last year's Tide to Table profiles (2020)

Last updated by Office of Aquaculture on February 09, 2024