Inland Finfish Aquaculture

The Department of Agriculture/Bureau of Aquaculture (DoAG) is responsible for regulating, inspecting, and licensing aquaculture operations in Connecticut. "Commercial hatchery" is defined in Chapter 490 of the CT State Statutes as "an institution or place where legally acquired fish are held, hatched and reared for sale or where fish so acquired or hatched are reared or held for sale in waters which are under complete control of the owner." This definition applies to a variety of operations, including fish produced for food, fish grown for stocking or as bait, ornamentals, etc. This provision also applies to lobsters and blue crabs.

All "commercial hatcheries" growing finfish, lobsters, and/or blue crabs must complete the fish producer license. The license annually expires on December 31, and must be renewed for January 1.  
Submit the Aquaculture Fish Producer License using A step-by-step user guide is available for download.Additional permits may be required by the CT DEEP Inland Fisheries Division, such as Importation or Liberation (Stocking) permits (Fisheries Licenses and Permits ( The companies must ensure they comply with all fisheries regulations. Questions about Inland Fisheries permits shall be directed to 

Phone: 860-424-FISH (3474) | E-mail:

Steps to become licensed to produce fish for food in Connecticut:

  1. Complete Seafood HACCP Certification. The HACCP certification can be completed through Cornell University. Questions about Seafood HACCP should be directed to Nancy Balcom ( at Connecticut Sea Grant.
  2. Complete the FDA Facility Registration.
  3. Submit the Aquaculture Fish Producer License using A step-by-step user guide is available for download.
  4. Site visits and inspections:
    • Prior to construction, a site visit may be scheduled with DoAG and DEEP to evaluate the site.
    • After construction and prior to operation, a DoAG inspection shall be scheduled to evaluate the facilities' compliance with DoAG policies.
    • Prior to the first harvest, a joint inspection will be scheduled with the DoAG and Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) to evaluate the facility and practices. Aquaculture facilities solely growing fish for stocking or bait are exempt from this inspection.
  5. The Aquaculture Fish Producer license is issued by the DoAG if the operation passes the inspections. DCP will determine if the operation also needs a seafood processor license.

Guidance Documents:

Policies and Guidance for the Permitting of Finfish Aquaculture

Best Management Practices for Finfish Aquaculture in Connecticut

Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance (Department of Health and Human Services)