Maine is the largest marine aquaculture state in the U.S. and has significant potential for sustainable growth of aquaculture in its coastal zone.

The Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI) brings together researchers and faculty from multiple disciplines at UMaine, key industry partners, and applied R&D opportunities, to enable UMaine’s aquaculture research portfolio to embrace the entire innovation development pipeline.

Click the links below to explore our facilities, faculty, and research initiatives more in depth, or continue reading for a quick overview of all ARI offers.

ARI: A Quick Overview

  • UMaine has a Business Incubation partnership with the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center and jointly oversees incubation facilities at CCAR and DMC.
  • The ARI and UMaine Animal Health Lab has developed a strong and internationally renowned aquatic animal health industry portfolio where we address urgent aquatic animal health issues through industry contracted R&D services and strategic industry partnerships.
  • The recent $20 million National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) grant award to establish a Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Research Network (SEANET) program in Maine further builds research and education capacity in aquaculture. It involves professional staff and faculty across multiple Colleges at UMaine (NSFA, CLA, Engineering, Cooperative Extension), and with multiple partners across Maine. SEANET is coordinated by the Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI).
  • The Aquaculture Research Center (ARC) provides faculty and students with recirculating or flowing fresh water or artificial seawater in a versatile laboratory In addition to supporting faculty research and graduate thesis projects, ARC is used for undergraduate training and senior capstone projects, K-grey education, and public outreach.
  • The Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) is a unique aquaculture R&D facility with large-scale systems. It is also recognized on a national and international level for the development of sustainable solutions to land-based aquaculture, alternative marine species technology, and ornamental aquatics production.
  • The Darling Marine Center (DMC) was a pioneer of shellfish aquaculture in Maine and continues to provide important research capabilities. It is home to UMaine’s only Research Shellfish Hatchery, has an experimental aquaculture lease, and a greenhouse facility for drying seaweed.
  • The Hitchner BSL2+ Isolation Facility is a highly sought after facility that is capable of BSL-2 level containment. This makes it a highly valuable asset for developing high-value industrial partnerships.

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