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Connecticut Bureau of Aquaculture

  • Oversees the regulation, development, and coordination of aquatic plant and animal farms in Long Island Sound
  • Manages a program ensuring the sanitation of shellfish harvested in these waters
  • Resources and documents for anyone starting an aquaculture business


A division of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Aquaculture is responsible for the regulation, development, and coordination of the state’s aquatic plant and animal farms in Long Island Sound. The program also includes a steering committee to develop a comprehensive strategy for the planned development of aquaculture in Connecticut.

Who’s it for

Anyone looking to start a business related to shellfishing, seaweed harvesting, or other aquaculture matters.


Connecticut General Statutes Section 26-192a designates the Department of Agriculture as the State’s lead agency for aquaculture regulation, development and coordination.

Resources & Services

Shellfish Bed Leasing

The bureau oversees the leasing of underwater lands in Long Island Sound to shellfish farmers, using a competitive bidding process. Leased lands must be a minimum of 50 acres and a maximum of 200 acres.


The Bureau of Aquaculture provides numerous resources on the shellfishing areas, hazards, regulations, and other information necessary to start or manage an aquaculture business. Documentation such as applications, forms, licensing requirements are also available.

Shellfish Sanitation Program and Laboratory Services

The Connecticut Shellfish Sanitation Program takes coastal surveys, samples water quality, identifies pollution sources, and takes other steps to ensure that shellfish harvested in Connecticut waters is safe. A laboratory used in this program processes 6,000 water samples each year, along with hundreds of samples of shellfish meat, phytoplankton, viruses, and biotoxins.


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