Aquaculture in New England and the Mid-Atlantic
An overview of aquaculture in the Greater Atlantic Region, including state and regional resources, and siting and permitting guidance.
Our region has a vibrant commercial marine aquaculture industry supported by a world class research and technology sector. Farmed species include finfish, shellfish, and sea vegetables.
Here, oysters, mussels, Atlantic salmon, and kelp are commonly farmed marine species. Aquaculture is the third most valuable fishery in terms of economic revenue behind scallops and American lobster. There is great capacity for increased aquaculture production in our waters.
Purposes and Benefits
Aquacultured products are grown for medical research, pharmaceuticals, food additives, and aquarium commerce. They support many industries in addition to generating an important food supply for humans.
Aquaculture also creates employment and business opportunities in coastal communities and provides safe, sustainable seafood. It complements NOAA's comprehensive strategy for maintaining healthy and productive marine populations, species, ecosystems, and coastal communities. An important way to meet increasing global demand for seafood, aquaculture supports commercial and recreational fisheries, and restores species and marine habitat.
The Greater Atlantic Region has two regional aquaculture coordinators:
Regional and State Resources
- Permitting Requirements for Federal Waters
- Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center
- Southern Regional Aquaculture Center
- National Association for State Aquaculture Coordinators
- A Guide to Marine Aquaculture Permitting in Connecticut
- Massachusetts Aquaculture Permitting Plan
- ASMFC Habitat Hotline - state updates
Aquaculture Project Siting
These resources provide information on geographic based data to inform decisions about siting aquaculture facilities in our region.
- Northeast Ocean Data Portal
- Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal
- Massachusetts Shellfish Aquaculture Siting Tool
- Connecticut Aquaculture Atlas
- North Carolina Shellfish Siting Tool
- Maryland Aquaculture Siting Tool
- Coastal Aquaculture Planning Portal
- National Shellfish Initiative
- Northeast Fisheries Science Center Milford Laboratory
- Protected Species and Marine Aquaculture Interactions (2017)
- Potential Protected Resources Interactions with Longline Aquaculture (2015)
- East Coast Shellfish Growers Publish Aquaculture BMP Manual (2010)