The Maine Aquaculturist’s Guide to Selling Shellfish

After putting in a lot of time and effort to grow your product to market size, it's time to sell them! You want to make sure you follow the Maine DMR regulations and have the appropriate licenses & certifications.


The Maine Aquaculturist


The Maine Aquaculturist

Selling Shellfish Guide

After very working hard, putting your time, passion, and money into your product, it is ready to be sold! This is a very exciting time but can also be confusing. There are different paths you can take to sell your shellfish and you need to make sure you have the appropriate license and/or certification to do so. No matter where or how you decide to sell your product you will need an Aquaculture Harvest License.

As many shellfish are eaten raw, public health and safety should be your main concern.

The Maine DMR Bureau of Public Health oversees the application of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) within the State of Maine. Their main goal is to keep molluscan shellfish safe for human consumption. The Bureau of Public Health created a common set of standards that are used to classify shellfish growing areas and handle shellfish when they go to market.

It is imperative that you follow the Bureau of Public Health's regulations and have the appropriate license or certification when selling your aquaculture shellfish. If you don't you will be fined and you are putting Maine's entire aquaculture sector's reputation at risk.

The Maine Aquaculturist worked with the Maine DMR Bureau of Public Health to create a Selling Shellfish Flowchart which maps out the different paths to take to sell your aquacultured shellfish in Maine including selling direct to restaurants, and wholesale distributors, at a farmer's market, your home, and your lease site. It also maps out how to sell your shellfish out of Maine either by mail or by transporting them in a vehicle.

The Maine Aquaculturist’s Guide- Selling Shellfish Flowchart

The Maine Aquaculturist worked with the Maine DMR Bureau of Public Health to create a list of what licenses you need to sell your aquaculture shellfish at your home, at your lease site, to your local grocery/general store, roadside, to a restaurant, to a wholesale distributor, at a farmers market, or out of state.

The Maine Aquaculturist’s Pocket Guide: Selling Shellfish

You can learn more about a specific license or certification on our Licenses & Certifications page!

If you have specific questions you should reach out to the Maine DMR Bureau of Public Health at [email protected].

Selling your Shellfish Resources