Online Shellfish Training Program Available

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 14-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.

This year, the course also will be offered as an on-line webinar, available to anyone with Internet access. Dale was a guest speaker at oyster culture workshops held in Florida in 2014; his presentation can be viewed here. He provides practical “hands-on” information that can benefit oyster growers regardless of where their farms are located. More details will be forthcoming on how to sign up for the webinar. For more details on the on-line version, please contact Dale Leavitt at

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