Sustainable Fisheries

Sustainable Fisheries/Aquaculture Program

CEI’s involvement in Maine’s fisheries, aquaculture, and marine trades sectors spans our 40-year history.  Since we began in 1977, CEI has put over $18 million dollars into promising marine businesses — translating to  2,200 jobs created or retained in our communities and benefiting over 670 fishing boats, 1100 fishermen and 1200 Maine families along protected wharves.

CEI provides advising and financing to fisheries and aquaculture businesses to improve their long-term viability, create and maintain quality jobs, safeguard marine-related infrastructure and environments, and help preserve the cultural integrity of Maine’s working waterfront.

Our deep Maine roots and passion for economic development gives CEI the extensive expertise and insight into the unique challenges and opportunities faced by entrepreneurs in the fishery and aquaculture sectors. We do more than find funding for vessels and upwellers —we forge networks, embrace modern technologies, advocate for better policies, and celebrate the way these sectors sustain our Maine way of life.

Whether you are an aquaculturist or fisherman, harvester, processor, dealer or wholesaler, we can provide technical assistance and financing for your start-up, invention, expansion, equipment and infrastructure projects. Be it lending, advice, or both, CEI’s Fisheries/ Aquaculture Program is here to help.

Research

MA South Coast Aquaculture: Opportunities for Aquaculture on the Massachusetts South Coast: A Sector Analysis

Purpose of the Study: CEI was contracted by the Garfield Foundation and Santander Bank to perform a sector analysis of the current and future economic opportunities for sustainable aquaculture specific to the South Coast of Massachusetts.  This area is comprised of the City of New Bedford and the towns of Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Marion, Mattapoisett, Wareham and Westport. This growing and emerging industry holds potential for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the South Coast and is an area of interest for future job growth and economic prosperity for the region.

Download Report:

Maine Based Seafood Distribution Study

Purpose of the Study:  In the current movement to support locally produced foods and rebuild local and regional food systems, the emphasis to date has been on agricultural products. Seafood is not well-integrated into these discussions and efforts. To advance the goal of integrating seafood into a comprehensive Maine food distribution and sales network, CEI is conducting a feasibility study to identify the opportunities and challenges to providing more locally produced fresh and frozen seafood to consumers.

Click here to view results from and download the Maine Seafood Study

Current Initiatives

  • Aquaculture in Shared Waters—A practical hands on aquaculture course offered to fishermen from a team representing CEI, University of Maine faculty, Sea Grant associates, Maine Aquaculture Association, Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center and the Downeast Institute. The fourth course in 4 years is currently planned to be delivered in 2018 in a Downeast location. Students enrolled will receive training for kelp, mussel and oyster farming start-ups.
  • Scallop Aquaculture Tech Transfer—CEI is currently leading a tech transfer effort with commercial fishermen and shellfish growers in Maine to culture Atlantic Sea scallops. The effort is in collaboration with representatives from Aomori, Japan where a well-established scallop aquaculture industry currently exists. CEI is purchasing and testing specialized scallop farm machinery to further advance the development of Maine’s scallop aquaculture industry.

Contact our Fisheries and Aquaculture STAFF

Hugh Cowperthwaite | Director, Fisheries Project
Nick Branchina | Associate Director, Fisheries & Aquaculture Programs