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Aquaculture Growers: Farming Seafood from Tide to Table

September 26, 2022

Get to know aquaculture growers from all over the United States, and try a new recipe from each farm.

Mercenaria Mercenaria (hard shell clams) that were grown in the Nomilo Fishpond. Aquacultured hard shell clams. Credit: Kauaʻi Sea Farms

U.S. aquaculture is an innovative industry that increases access to fresh seafood while protecting coastal natural resources. Aquaculture producers continue finding new ways to balance business management and ecosystem benefits.

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 sustainably sourced seafood in the United States. Aquaculture is more than just seafood production. It is ecosystem stewardship, strengthening coastal communities, and promoting economic opportunities.

Atlantic Aquaculture Growers

In the Southeast region, marine aquaculture focuses on food production, research, stock enhancement and restoration efforts. Species cultured in the region include oysters, clams, shrimp, red drum, almaco jack, spotted seatrout, summer flounder, snook, pompano, and black sea bass.

Carteret Community College’s Aquaculture Technology Program

Morehead City, North Carolina

Two students pull a trawling net in Bogue Sound, as a third student looks on.
Carteret Community College Aquaculture Technology students pull a trawling net through Bogue Sound, just offshore from the campus lab. Credit: Carteret Community College

Carteret Community College’s Aquaculture Technology program is teaching sustainable marine science and business skills to future growers in North Carolina. Read more

The Mid-Atlantic region, which includes the Chesapeake Bay, boasts a vibrant commercial marine aquaculture industry supported by a world-class research and technology sector. Throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the production of oysters and clams has increased substantially over the past decade. The dockside value of aquaculture production in the Mid-Atlantic totaled approximately $85 million in 2020, and there is still great potential for growth.

Swell Oyster Co.

Hampton Harbor, New Hampshire

A hand holding four Swell Oysters in the shell. The four oysters are market-size and take up the person's entire hand.

Swell Oyster Co. grows oysters, bay scallops, and clams in the working waterfront town of Hampton Harbor, New Hampshire. Read more

Gulf of Mexico Aquaculture Growers

Aquaculture contributes to the Gulf of Mexico's maritime economy through the production of finfish, shellfish, seaweeds, and live rock. As of 2018, the Gulf states accounted for 23 percent, or $345 million, of aquaculture production in the United States.

Barrier Beauties

East Galveston Bay, Texas

A raw bar with oysters on ice, next to a glass of champagne and two mignonette sauce options for the oysters.

Barrier Beauties grows oysters in East Galveston Bay, on the coast of Port Bolivar, Texas. Read more

Pacific Aquaculture Growers

With cold, pristine waters and the most coastline of any U.S. state, Alaska has immense capacity for growing a sustainable aquaculture industry. As of 2021, if all of the aquaculture applications in the queue are approved, the acres under production will have increased from less than 350 in 2016 to nearly 3,000 in 2021. That's an approximate 850 percent increase in 5 years.

Alaska Shellfish Farms

Halibut Cove, Alaska

Two Alaska Shellfish Farms oysters, shucked and arranged on a bed of snow outdoors, next to a biodegradable plastic bag of oysters and an oyster cage.

Alaska Shellfish Farms grows oysters, mussels, and kelp in the glacial waters of Halibut Cove’s Kachemak Bay. Read more

The Pacific Islands region is no stranger to aquaculture, with a rich history of practicing and investing in aquaculture innovation and expertise. In Hawaiʻi, aquaculture set record sales in 2021—increasing 20 percent over previous years. One form of aquaculture in Hawaiʻi, Loko i‘a (traditional Hawaiian fishponds) are a vital component of native Hawaiian communities and are valuable cultural and ecological resources.

Kauaʻi Sea Farms

Kalaheo, Kauaʻi, Hawaii

A rainbow over the Nomilo Fishpond on a sunny day.

On the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi, Kauaʻi Sea Farms is restoring the historic Nomilo Fishpond while growing clams, sea cucumbers, and edible seaweed. Read more

California has a long history of coastal aquaculture, mostly along the central and northern coast, with shellfish growers from Morro Bay all the way to Humboldt Bay. Various seaweeds are cultured throughout coastal California, and in the offshore ocean in southern California. Southern California's Mediterranean climate is ideal for open ocean and offshore aquaculture of mussels, oysters, kelp, and native fish such as yellowtail and white seabass.

Monterey Bay Seaweeds

Moss Landing, California

Decoratively arranged glass jars of water, containing various Monterey Bay Seaweeds.

In Moss Landing, California, Monterey Bay Seaweeds uses land-based tanks to grow several varieties of edible seaweed. Read more

Last updated by Office of Aquaculture on March 15, 2024