foundations of shellfish farming

Registration open for 2024 shellfish farming course

The 2024  “Foundations of Shellfish Farming” course will be offered at the UConn Avery Point campus over 12 weeks starting Jan. 16.

The classes will meet on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. through April 2 in Room 312 of the Lowell P. Weicker Jr. Building. Registration is now open and financial aid is available. shellfish

“Foundations of Shellfish Farming” is a training course for new and prospective farmers and those who simply seek to learn more about aquaculture practices and techniques. Topics that will be covered include how to establish and operate a shellfish business; leasing and permitting requirements; considerations for gear, vessels, and facilities, shellfish biology, aquaculture techniques and best practices, and risks involved in farming shellfish.

Although the course will concentrate on Long Island Sound waters within the jurisdiction of Connecticut, the topics and practices covered are applicable in the Northeast United States and potentially beyond.  

Instructors: Michael Gilman and Tessa L. Getchis 



Cost: $300 

Financial aid: Scholarship funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Preference will be given to underserved/underrepresented groups including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, followed by other students in financial need. If interested, contact us by email at Include your full name, company name (if applicable), and a statement explaining your request for financial aid. Please DO NOT register for the class. We will process registrations for all students receiving financial aid. 


Sponsors: Connecticut Sea Grant, UConn Extension, and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture 


*This course meets the Connecticut Department of Agriculture eligibility requirement for the submission of a Joint Agency Application for Marine Aquaculture.  


Additional questions, including requests for financial aid, can be emailed to: 

A pdf of the flier can be downloaded here.

Meet Mike Gilman

Mike GilmanMike Gilman of Branford recently joined us as an Assistant Extension Educator with Connecticut Sea Grant, where he works with our aquaculture program. Mike received his bachelor of science from Albertus Magnus College and a master of science from Southern Connecticut State University.

What is your area of interest?

My main areas of interest are shellfish aquaculture, marine ecology, and education.  I got into shellfish aquaculture by co-starting an oyster farm with a family friend/commercial fisherman.

What will your role be with UConn Extension?

My main roles will include teaching a shellfish aquaculture training course called, Foundations of Shellfish Farming. I’m also the state shell recycling coordinator where my focus is being a resource and liaison for all interested parties and stakeholders in the shell recycling world.

What excites you the most about working with UConn Extension?

I am very excited about the opportunity to work with UConn Extension. I have spent most of my professional life in shellfish aquaculture and teaching and this seems like a great opportunity to take all of the things that I have learned and tie them together. Everyone at UConn Extension and Connecticut Sea Grant that I have worked with so far has been incredible to work alongside and learn from and I look forward to that continuing.

What is one thing you hope people will learn from you and your work?

One thing that I hope people will learn from my work is that farming an oyster or clam is equal parts difficult and rewarding. And to really appreciate all that has gone into that plate of shucked shellfish getting served at a restaurant or raw bar.

What is your favorite thing to do in Connecticut?

My favorite thing to do in Connecticut is hike and explore different state parks with my family and dog Redwood.

What is the most unusual job you’ve had?

Probably all of the little fine details of oyster farming. One day you’re removing hundreds of pounds of sea grapes or tunicates from oyster cages and the next you might be fighting with a blue crab or oyster toadfish that wants to call your oyster cages home.

What are some of your hobbies and other interests?

Being outdoors with family and friends and chasing my kids around to all of their different events.