The Island Institute is accepting applications for its 2019 Aquaculture Business Development (ABD) program. Now in its fourth year, the free program helps fishermen and those from fishing communities gain the tools they need to diversify and launch small-scale aquaculture businesses. The institute is looking to work with coastal and island residents who are motivated to start a shellfish or seaweed aquaculture businesses within the next two years. Applications are being accepted through March 14.
“Maine’s emerging aquaculture industry has a lot of opportunity and growth potential. The ABD program provides both the academic and experiential learning tools to enter that growing arena,” said Peter Piconi, marine business specialist with the Island Institute. “More importantly, fishermen can diversify their income, which, in turn, helps island and coastal economies thrive.”
The program concentrates on business planning and provides prolonged one-on-one support services to help participants get started in the water. Features of the program include training for growing oysters, mussels, and seaweed; knowledge of the state leasing process and site selection; assistance with developing business and marketing plans; and access to financing and continued business support for the first three years of business operation.
Applications and information are available at www.islandinstitute.org/aquaculture or by calling 594-9209, extension 159. Questions regarding the Aquaculture Business Development program should be directed to Peter Piconi at email@example.com or Sam Belknap at firstname.lastname@example.org.