2023 Applied Shellfish Farming Course

The annual Applied Shellfish Farming Course will be on HIATUS for Spring 2023. Due to a faculty change, the ASF Course will unfortunately still be on hiatus for 2023. We hope to offer the course again next year as we introduce our new faculty to this great program! Traditionally the class runs weekly from the end of January through the end of May. In efforts of addressing COVID-19 concerns in RI and on the Roger Williams University campus, the course will be offered in a remote (online) setting only.

Roger Williams University’s Center for Economic and Environmental Development will be offering our Applied Shellfish Farming course for business start-ups in the region (and beyond). This non-credit course consists of 15 evening lectures (Tuesday’s 6:30 to 9:00 PM) over four months that cover the range of information you may need to help with starting or improving your farm. Participants will learn the basic principles of hatchery, nursery and grow-out operations, risk management, siting, permitting, and business management.

The course will be entirely remote in 2024 in an effort to keep participants and the Roger Williams University community safe. Weekly live-meetings paired with our website will allow participants to ask questions they may have about the aquaculture topics discussed that evening. Each class will also be recorded for later viewing, if needed by the participants. Over the last four years there have been remote only participants that have successfully taken this course in 24 states and 8 countries.

If you plan on taking the course please drop a note to ShellfishProgram@g.rwu.edu and we will get back in touch with you with more details on how to sign up for and tune in to the course. More information is available under the FAQ page of this website.

Registration open for the Applied Shellfish Farming Course at RWU

The Roger Williams University Center for Economic and Environmental Development is now enrolling students for Applied Shellfish Farming, a non-credit course offered during the winter/spring semester that teaches both aspiring shellfish farmers and aquaculture professionals the ins and outs of commercially growing oysters, quahogs, scallops and mussels.

The 15-week program, led by Dale Leavitt, aquaculture extension specialist and Professor of Marine Biology at Roger Williams University, is designed to aid new and experienced shellfish farmers to start or grow their shellfish farming enterprise in Rhode Island and other areas of Southern New England.

Topics in the course include: an overview of shellfish farming, shellfish biology, farm site selection, the permitting process and regulatory aspects of securing and maintaining a lease, an overview of shellfish nursery and grow-out systems, risk management strategies, other technical aspects of shellfish farming, and business and marketing management advice. Dr. Leavitt complements the class with mentoring and site visits, remains in contact with many participants, and advises shellfish farmers nationwide.

CRMC considers the course an unofficial requirement for prospective shellfish farmers. Aspects of the course are also required for individuals wishing to apply for a Recreational Aquaculture Permit in Rhode Island (For more information about the Recreational Aquaculture Permit, contact Dale Leavitt or Rob Hudson at appliedshellfishfarming@gmail.com).

The course will be held at the University’s Bristol campus on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., the course is also offered as an on-line webinar, available to anyone with Internet access.

Pre-registration is preferred by contacting Dale Leavitt or Rob Hudson at appliedshellfishfarming@gmail.com .