Training and Education for Growers

Online Farmhand Training Videos

These video training modules can be viewed "a la carte" in any order, or as part of a certificate program, which requires viewing them in order and taking a test before proceeding to the next video in the course.

Getting Started in Forida

Everything you need to know about growing shellfish in Florida. From acquiring a lease, to risk calculations, to planting, to harvest.

Getting Started in Maine

The Essential Start Guide to Maine Aquaculture outlines the rich opportunities and the overlooked realities of starting an aquaculture business in the state of Maine.

How to Install a Soft-Shell Clam Farm

This comprehensive guide by John M. Hagan and Ethel Wilkerson of Manomet lays it all out.

Workshop Videos

University of Florida Oyster Culture Workshop Series

Disinfecting Used Shellfish Gear

When buying used shellfish production equipment, be sure to thoroughly disinfect it before you put in the water. This reduces the risk of introducing disease or invasive species.


Helpful websites listing aquaculture jobs

Rookie Mistakes

Learn the easy way from those who found out the hard way

Links to Other Aquaculture Training Programs

Roger Williams University offers a course in Applied Shellfish Farming. Topics  include: an overview of shellfish farming, shellfish biology, farm site selection, the permitting process and regulatory aspects of securing and maintaining a lease, an overview of shellfish nursery and grow-out systems, risk management strategies, other technical aspects of shellfish farming, and business and marketing management advice from a variety of guest lecturers who are professionals in their field. Upon completion of this course, attendees will have a firm understanding of shellfish biology and develop the technical knowledge pertaining to operating a shellfish business in New England.

Tuesdays 6:30-9:30 pm (EST) weekly from Jan. 30–May 7, 2024
Location: Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island (Zoom option available).
Cost: $300

Aquaculture in Shared Waters is a community-based training program for Maine residents that has helped hundreds of fishermen, farmers and professionals start or improve their aquaculture businesses since the start of the program in 2013. Annual training focuses on the cultivation of commercially valuable species including oysters, mussels, scallops, and kelp. Courses are taught by leading industry, regulatory, and scientific experts and cover fundamental topics like site selection, permitting, animal husbandry, equipment, business planning, financing, marketing and more. In addition to learning the curriculum, participants expand their professional networks with fellow students and have access to individual meetings and business planning with instructors.

Tuesdays 6 pm Jan. –April.   
Location: University of Maine Hutchinson Center, Belfast, Maine.
Cost: Free

Foundations of Shellfish Farming is a training course for new and prospective farmers and those who want to learn more about aquaculture practices and techniques. Topics that will be covered include: how to establish and operate a shellfish business; leasing and permitting requirements; considerations for gear, vessels and facilities; shellfish biology; aquaculture techniques and best practices; and risks involved in farming shellfish. Although the course will concentrate on Long Island Sound waters within the jurisdiction of Connecticut, the topics and practices covered are applicable in the Northeast U.S. and potentially beyond.

Tuesdays 5:30pm - 7:30pm, weekly from Jan. 16 through April 2, 2024.
Location: UConn Avery Point Campus, Lowell P. Weicker Jr. Building, Room 312, Groton, Connecticut.
Cost: $300

Maryland Sea Grant's Remote Setting Training Program helps oyster growers produce spat-on-shell, or oyster larvae that have attached themselves to recycled shells. This program operates remote setting tanks at sites across Maryland’s portion of Chesapeake Bay. Staff at the UMCES Horn Point Oyster Hatchery train participating growers how to use these tanks to produce their own oyster spat. The hatchery also provides growers with oyster larvae at no charge. Participants are encouraged to build and maintain their own setting tanks. The program is supported by Maryland Sea Grant Extension.

The Aquaculture Genetics & Breeding Technology Center at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science offers two types of training programs for technical and support staff in oyster aquaculture during the hatchery and nursery seasons: full-term (season long) and short-term (variable, generally 1-4 weeks).