Our Team

Sebastian Belle (he/him/his)
Executive Director
[email protected]

A longtime leader in aquaculture, Sebastian Belle has dedicated his career to demonstrating global leadership in aquaculture and advocating for a sustainable working waterfront. Since 1984, Belle has established best practices and advised commercial aquaculture ventures around the world, bridging private and public sectors. In April 2022, Belle was appointed as president of the board of directors, National Aquaculture Association (NAA) for the 2022 term. Prior to joining the MAA, Mr. Belle was the state aquaculture coordinator, working for the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Mr. Belle serves on NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee and on the board of directors of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, The Island Institute, and The Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center. Mr. Belle is also vice president of the International Salmon Farmers Association. “Now more than ever aquaculture needs to unify as a sector to balance innovation with long-term sustainability,” says Belle. “Our seafood farm families, in Maine and across the nation, and working waterfront depend on it.” 

Afton Vigue (she/her/hers)
Communications & Outreach Manager
[email protected]

Afton Vigue earned a B.S. in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine in 2017, and continued on to earn a M.S. in Natural Resource Economics in 2019. After joining MAA in 2019, Afton built a fresh digital presence and brand identity for the association, and led the development of key industry marketing and communications tools including the Maine Oyster Trail. In her current role, she develops and manages MAA’s marketing and communications strategies including traditional PR as well as digital and social media campaigns. She works closely with the MAA board of directors as well as growers across the state to keep them activated and engaged around issues that matter most to them, and participates on several aquaculture-related boards and working groups at the state, national, and international levels. 

Christian Brayden (he/him/his)
Project Manager
[email protected]

Christian earned a B.A. in Economics at the College of the Holy Cross and an M.S. in Resource Economics and Policy from the University of Maine. Christian’s work at MAA focuses on applied research and assisting growers with aquaculture business and production planning, including financial benchmarking, risk management, and crop insurance. Other work revolves around seafood distribution, marketing, and the creation of Maine’s first aquaculture occupational standards, including their integration into broader aquaculture workforce development efforts. He has been with the MAA since 2017. 

Trixie Betz (she/her/hers)
Outreach & Development Specialist
[email protected]

Trixie earned her B.A. in Spanish and Criminal Justice from the University of Maine in 2022. After graduating and moving to southern Maine, she was introduced to aquaculture through her work on an oyster farm in Brunswick, where she exercised her creative skills to tell the farm’s story through social media. Her current role expands on what MAA has done to date by building out new and enhanced social media campaigns, sharp video production and design, and other key methods of outreach, both online and in person. She is passionate about farmer-forward storytelling that amplifies the narratives of the people who shape the industry, showcasing their personal accounts of working on the water, and emphasizing why farming is more than a job. She has been with the MAA since 2023.