The Maine Aquaculture Association (MAA) is a non-profit trade association that represents the Maine aquaculture industry at the state, federal, and international levels. Our members grow finish, shellfish, and sea vegetables.
Since 1978, we have worked to support Maine’s aquatic growers in developing economically and environmentally sustainable business practices, promoting the benefits of aquaculture in the local food system, and preserving Maine’s heritage of a vibrant working waterfront.
Maine is currently the number one marine aquaculture producer in the U.S. with farm gate sales in excess of $107.2 million. On the freshwater side, we are still small but growing steadily with annual farm gate sales of around $1.1 million. Below are a few examples of how MAA works to promote the aquaculture sector.
The Maine Aquaculture Association:
• Tracks and intervenes in state, federal and international legislation and rule making procedures that impact member operations.
• Represents members before state and federal agencies to assist in problem resolution.
• Regularly gives presentations to community groups and responds to press inquiries to educate the public about the benefits of aquaculture operations.
• Exhibits and presents at tourism, food, sportsmen, agricultural, environmental, and education trade shows and conferences to explain member operations and highlight Maine aquaculturists’ contributions to Maine communities and the environment.
• Participates on or testifies before many influential bodies (ex. Maine Technology Institute, Global Aquaculture Alliance, NASCO, NOAA Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, United States House and Senate Committees on Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Small Business, and a number of Maine State Legislative Committees including:
– Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry
– Appropriations & Financial Affairs
– Energy, Utilities & Technology, Environment & Natural Resources
– Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
– Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement & Commerce,
– Marine Resources
• Sits on boards such as the NOAA Science Advisory Board, International Salmon Farmers Association, National Aquaculture Association, Maine Fishermen’s Forum, Alliance for Maine’s Marine Economy, Island Institute, Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, USDA Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center, University of Maine Board of Agriculture, & Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Association.
• Forms strategic alliances with other natural resource users such as those in the tourism, conservation, forestry, farming, fishing and agriculture sectors.
• Regularly conducts tours of farms for educators, environmentalists, journalists, chefs, food writers, seafood buyers and state and federal policy makers.
• Maintains an informational website, provides materials to educators, and pitches to journalists on positive stories about Maine aquaculture.