Field Trips & Workshops

NACE/MAS Field Trips & Workshops

Wednesday, April 27, 2022


Please join one of these exciting workshops and tours to some of the area’s best known aquaculture research and production facilities. All tours will leave from and return to the Holiday Inn by the Bay conference site.  Please arrive 15 minutes before the posted departure time at the hotel lobby.  Registration for each trip or workshop will be limited, and on a first come basis. These tours are highly subsidized by the NACE! For details and questions, contact Chris Davis.

To Register for a Workshop or Field Trip, Click Here.


Basics of shellfish farming in the northeast with an emphasis on common species, equipment, siting and husbandry: Hosted by Dana Morse, University of Maine Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension. Most bivalve shellfish farming in the northeast US concerns only a few species: eastern oyster, hard clam and blue mussel. Other species less commonly farmed include the bay scallop, the razor clam, the softshell clam and the sea scallop. This full-day workshop session will focus on the needs of prospective or new shellfish farmers, to cover a suite of topics such as: anatomy and physiology, site selection, equipment and husbandry, diseases and pests, harvesting and post-harvest care, and will touch on sales and marketing.  Most attention will be paid to eastern oysters, blue mussels and hard clams, although other species will be addressed to some degree. The workshop will be interactive and hands-on, with guest speakers to help with both the technical aspects of shellfish farming, and also to build the professional network for new farmers.

Start time: 9:00 AM. End time: 2:30 PM. Venue: Holiday Inn by the Bay. Cost: $75. Maximum of 25 participants.

Seaweed Cooking and Product Development Workshop Hosted by Jaclyn Robidoux, University of Maine Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension and Kara Ibarguen, Maine Coast Sea Vegetables.  Welcome to Portland, Maine; the epicenter of seaweed farming and fisheries in the US! In this half day workshop, we’ll get into the weeds of seaweed cooking and product development. We’ll start by identifying and learning more about Maine’s edible seaweed species, then discuss culinary attributes and key product development considerations. Finally, we’ll put this knowledge into practice in a hands-on seaweed cook-off. Participants will break into small groups and have access to kitchen facilities, cooking equipment, and additional ingredients to create and share seaweed-inspired dishes.

Participants should be comfortable with cooking and using kitchen tools. All food, tools, and ingredients will be provided. Please bring a mask.

Start time: 11:45 AM. End time: 4:00 PM. Meet in the lobby of the Holiday Inn by the Bay. Cost: $90. Maximum of 25 participants.

Farm Safety Training at Sea Workshop:  Safety awareness & emergency preparedness are keys to mitigating accidents at sea. Join the experts from McMillan Offshore Survival for an all day training course focussed on cold-water, marine-based aquaculture farm safety.  Topics that will be covered include cold water survival, man overboard, use of liferaft/emergency supplies, and PFD’s. In water training will expose the students use of life rafts, survival suits and flares and will provide certificates of completion. This class is being hosted by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.  Please bring: survival suit if you have one (a limited number will be available).

Start Time: 8:45 AM. Return: 3:00 PM. Depart From: Holiday Inn by the Bay. Cost: $100/person.  Maximum Number of Participants:12

Field Trips

Midcoast Aquaculture & Marine Science Research Facilities: Spend the day in Maine’s Midcoast region, a hotspot for aquaculture production, marine science and innovation, where you’ll visit several research centers. The University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center is located on a peninsula alongside the Damariscotta River, a convenient location for the many marine projects going on, from hatchery research to experiments on the sea farm.  Nearby is the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, home to a variety of labs including a biotoxin testing lab, algal repository center, seawater suite, and kelp nursery. Finally, we’ll visit the Maine Department of Marine Resources Laboratory. Lunch provided.

Start time: 8:45 AM. End time: 4:00 PM. Depart From: Holiday Inn by the Bay. Cost: $50. Maximum of 22 participants.

A Tour of the University of New Hampshire Aquaculture Facilities:  Head down to Newcastle, NH for the day to visit the University of New Hampshire’s Marine Facilities complex. Tour the Coastal Marine Lab with its pier and research vessels, visit the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex, and learn more about the ongoing research at UNH. New Hampshire Sea Grant’s two floating IMTA systems, known as AquaFort, utilized for training and research, are located here as well.

Time: 12:45 PM. Return: 5:00 PM .Depart From: Holiday Inn by the Bay. Cost: $50. Maximum of 11 participants.

Tour and lunch at Canopy Farms:  Visit Canopy Farms’ one-of-a-kind multi-story building that houses an aquaponics facility as well as a public café space and commercial production kitchen. The farm-to-table model encompasses all stages of the food’s journey, from seed and fingerling to a beautifully composed dish. You’ll see each step of this journey on the tour, which will be followed by a deeper discussion on getting started in aquaponics, accompanied by hands-on work. Lunch will follow the tour and workshop, featuring food directly from Canopy Farms’ unique aquaponics system.

Time: 9:15 AM. Return: 1:30 PM. Depart From: Holiday Inn by the Bay. Cost: $75. Maximum of 22 participants.

Portland Waterfront Walking TourExplore the iconic Portland waterfront on a guided tour that stops at several of our marine industry institutions. The City of Portland’s Waterfront Coordinator, Bill Needleman, will guide you along the wharves and make stops at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s new facility, the historic Portland Fish Exchange, Bangs Island Mussels’ land-based operations, and conclude at the New England Ocean Cluster’s gathering place, known as The Hus. Lunch will be provided including local oysters from Lady Shuckers and conversation opened on the future of the working waterfront and aquaculture’s role.

*A thick coat, good boots, and hat will be necessary!  Lunch provided.

Time: 9:45 AM. Return: 1:30 PM. Depart From: Holiday Inn by the Bay. Cost: $35. Maximum of 25 participants.

A Tour of the University of New England Aquaculture Facilities:  Head down to Biddeford, ME for an afternoon visit to the University of New England’s Arthur P. Girard Marine Science Center, hosted by Dr Carrie Byron. Tour the MSC, and take a boat tour out to the experimental seaweed farms on the Research Vessel Sakhoki. Learn more about UNE’s ongoing research as well as their education and training programs.

*A thick coat, good boots, and hat will be necessary!

Time: 12:15 PM. Return: 5:00 PM. Depart From: Holiday Inn by the Bay. Cost: $50. Maximum of 18 participants.

Casco Bay Sea Farm Boat Tour: Bundle up and get out on the water to see Maine’s aquaculture industry up close and personal! We’ll hop on the water taxi right on the Portland waterfront and visit several sea farms in Casco Bay, where oyster, mussel, seaweed, and scallop farming are thriving. A thick coat, warm shoes, and hat will be necessary!Time: 12:15 PM. Return: 5:00 PM. Depart From: Holiday Inn by the Bay.*A thick coat, good boots, and hat will be necessary!Cost: $65. Maximum of 45 participants.
Electric Workboat Demonstration Test Drives:  Hosted by Nick Planson and Chad Strater of The Boat Yard LLC and Sea Meadow Marine Foundation.  Come for a short ride or try out driving our electric workboat powered by a 20HP Torqeedo electric motor.  We acquired these with funding from the Maine Technology Institute and the Island Institute to see how well they work on sea farms in the Casco Bay.  Clean, quiet, and easy to drive – we are working with the industry and supporters to make them commercially and logistically viable to help aquaculture lower its carbon impact to zero.  The Boat Yard LLC is a Torqeedo dealer and service center at Sea Meadow Marine Foundation’s working waterfront facility in Yarmouth.  Time:  Weather-depending 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.  Venue:  New England Ocean Cluster / Dock behind Flatbread (68 Commercial Street).  Cost:  $0.  Maximum 2-3 participants per trip / 30-minute block. To reserve a 30 minute demonstration period, click here.