Floating aquaculture cages in water

Photo by Chuck Weirich

Here are some links for those looking to get started with shellfish aquaculture.

For more questions, contact Eric Herbst, coastal aquaculture specialist, North Carolina Sea Grant, echerbst@ncsu.edu.

DMF Shellfish Lease Program


New interactive mapping tool shows location, size of shellfish leases
June 2020: The Shellfish Lease and Aquaculture Program at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has launched a new interactive mapping tool to assist the public in finding information about shellfish leases in North Carolina.

Contact North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, Shellfish.Lease.Permits@ncdenr.gov 

USDA Farm Service Agency Programs


UNCW NC Shellfish Aquaculture Siting Tool


Researchers at the University of North Carolina Wilmington developed the North Carolina Shellfish Siting Tool for current and future shellfish growers. A National Sea Grant Strategic Initiative supported this effort by awarding funding to Sea Grant.

Shellfish growers in North Carolina now have data that allow them to select locations with the most potential before choosing areas to lease. This GIS-based site-selection tool assists growers in identifying promising bottom-lease locations for their aquaculture operations. Users can search based on important factors for locating a shellfish culture operation — presence/absence of shellfish, submerged aquatic vegetation, current leases, boat access areas and salinity.

Contact Troy Alphin at University of North Carolina Wilmington, 910-962-2395, alphint@uncw.edu

UNCW Shellfish Research Hatchery


Contact Ami Wilbur, at University of North Carolina Wilmington, 910-962-2389, wilbura@uncw.edu

Carteret Community College


Contact David Cerino, at Carteret Community College, 252-222-6114, cerinod@carteret.edu

North Carolina Sea Grant Workshop Materials