Discover Careers in Aquaculture

Please contact WCCC Workforce & Professional Development Department or (207) 214-7988



Washington County Community College and Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center have joined forces with partners, to bring you…


Programming is designed and led by Industry and begins in Summer of 2022!


This program has been developed with funding from a USDA Agricultural Food & Research grant in partnership with the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, and is grounded in numerous organizational and industry partnerships which will be key to delivering the industry designed programming.  Students will have the opportunity to start careers in the aquaculture sector statewide, as well as transfer into four-year programs.





Maine’s Aquaculture Industry is very diverse.  Maine’s extensive, sparsely developed, 3,500-mile coastline and proximity to the nutrient rich waters of the Gulf of Maine have favored an economy based on marine resources, and strong economic and cultural traditions, connecting working waterfronts to the sea. It incorporates freshwater and marine farming, of fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants.  Marine farming in Maine dates from the late 1960s when the state adopted statutes and regulations for leasing of state-owned areas in coastal waters below the mean low tide mark. Maine has supplied North American markets with seafood for 200 years and has earned a reputation for high quality and sustainably produced or harvested seafood.


According to the Maine Aquaculture Association, in 2018 there were 190 individual aquatic farms in Maine operated by lease holders, and 200 additional leaseholders who had yet to develop their businesses. Maine’s aquaculture sector has a direct economic impact of $73.4 million in output, and $35.7 in labor income. Since 2007, the total economic impact of aquaculture has almost tripled from $50 million to $137 million. In 2016, the industry employed 571 with many jobs related to aquaculture production as full-time, all-year positions. Less than 30% of employment were seasonal (Cole et al. 2017).


In the twentieth century, wild harvests of fish and shellfish have declined because of overharvesting, disruption of marine ecosystems, and most recently from the impacts of climate change (warming waters, ocean acidification and the threat of invasive species). By providing coastal communities the means to farm the sea, we can simultaneously support the sustainable expansion of marine aquaculture, reduce the U.S. seafood trade deficit, improve U.S. food security, increase the resilience of coastal communities, and maintain coastal cultural and economic traditions associated with the working waterfront.




This August, Exploring Careers in Aquaculture will take a small cohort of up to 12 students on a journey across aquaculture careers in Maine! Students will visit a range of aquaculture operations and become familiar with different roles and responsibilities and related pathways, which include field trips to shellfish, algae and fin fish hatcheries, land-based recirculating aquaculture operations, marine-based fin fish and shellfish operations, processing facilities, and research facilities. Students will meet with people across a broad range of careers including farming/production, biotechnology, processing, distribution and transport, gear/equipment manufacturing, veterinarians and aquatic animal health professionals, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, advocacy, education, policy and regulation, research, engineering, food science, and more!

This course offers hands-on, immersive group learning experiences in an accelerated format and includes 2 days of orientation and cohort-building activities and 5 days of career and industry learning experiences. Students who successfully complete the course will receive 3 college credits, for free! 


Course Schedule:

Day 1 and Day 7 will be delivered asynchronously via Zoom


Day 1: Cohort Orientation

Day 2 – Day 6: Aquaculture Career Camp classes & field trips*

Day 7: Bringing it all together & cohort presentations



Enrollment is limited. Register today!

*Lodging, meals, and transportation accommodations will be provided. It is a requirement that all participants be at least 18 years old. Up to date COVID-19 vaccinations and available booster vaccinations are required.


Click below to view more course details!















You are supported now, and into the future!


Maine aquaculture enthusiasts, students, teachers, business owners, communities and innovators are well-supported through programs, partnerships and opportunities. Click on the workforce ecosystem map below to view an ever-growing, ever-connecting chain of available supports and resources! Check back frequently, as we are continually adding and updating learning opportunities and resources!










Please contact WCCC Workforce & Professional Development Department or (207) 214-7988


Programs are funded by USDA’s AFRI Education and Workforce Development
Program, in partnership with WCCC, and Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center.

Washington County Community College does not discriminate on the basis of color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age or marital, parental, or veteran’s status in its programs and activities.