Marine Technology & Aquaculture

Marine Technology & Aquaculture

Perhaps 2,000 years ago Marine Technology & Aquaculture were together in one cluster. Today, each of these sectors has created and supports numerous other sectors. Maine innovation sets the standard for technology developments in Marine Technology, Boatbuilding, and Aquaculture.

Marine Technology
Marine research is strong in Maine, and commercial technology developments are now emerging to make us competitive with other states. The strength of the research foundation in Maine, together with growth in demand for technologies related to ocean observing and measurement over the next decades, means growth for this sector. The Maine Maritime Academy offers courses of study in engineering, management, science, and transportation. As the long-time leader in supplying dehydrators to the United States Navy, Howell Laboratories has nearly a half century of experience in developing various shipboard machinery for the Navy, Coast Guard, and commercial vessels. Hybrid Marine Technologies is a research and testing organization focused on getting hybrid engines in boats. Think of a Prius on the water, and you'll have the (very) general idea.

Boatbuilding and Related Industries
This is a sophisticated cluster in Maine and relies heavily on the innovation and developments within the Composite and Advanced Materials sector. Of course Maine is home to Bath Iron Works, but a dynamic sector of builders of smaller vessels is led by Hodgdon Yachts, America’s oldest boat builder. Maine Classic Boats was formed to create a market in South Korea for Maine built boats. Lyman-Morse is a custom boat building yard with a distinguished history. For over a century, graceful Alden Malabar schooners and sturdy Friendship sloops slid down the ways here on the coast of Maine. Sabre Yachts Corporation, located in South Casco, Maine, has been handcrafting high-quality sailboats and motoryachts since 1971.

Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production system in the world. The markets for Maine's products are strong and could grow significantly, given the world’s demand for seafood and the severe pressures on capture fisheries. It is a technically complex industry that still faces a number of challenges in mimicking the functions of natural ecosystems to grow and sustain organisms, but a robust research and skills base exists in Maine to meet these challenges. A complementary technology competency found in Maine that supports this industry is fluid handling and filtering. Maine is one of the leading producers of farm raised marine seafood in the country. We farm over twenty-four different species here in the state of Maine and on a per acre basis farm raised salmon, oysters, and mussels are the most valuable agricultural crops raised in Maine. Maine has several distinct advantages for aquaculture production and harvesting; the availability of clean water in our lakes and ocean coastline and an existing infrasructure to handle permitting, research, development, and distribution. With over 5,300 miles of pristine coastline and cool, clean waters, Maine has ideal conditions for growing aquatic animals and plants. Aquaculture biotechnology has made substantial contributions to our everyday lives. Products are fundamental sources of energy, nutrition, and ecological services for sustainable societies globally. A seaweed farm that started in Maine evolved into Phycogen International, a biotechnology company which conducted research on products which can be derived from porphyra, a brown algae native to Maine. Another Maine company, Sea Run Holdings of Kennebunk, has pioneered the commercial production and sale of finfish blood serum for use in biotechnology research. Sea & Reef Aquaculture cultures only the highest quality marine ornamental fish for the aquarium hobby.

Groups supporting this sector