– Hatchery –

Buy Seed & Specimens

American Oyster

Special Orders Including Specimens

50,000 cultured soft-shell clam seed (about 1.5 mm in length) being added to a 55-gallon silo in the upweller.


Soft-shell clam (Mya arenaria) must be ordered by February to ensure an adequate supply.

Clams that are 1 mm to 2 mm are ready for nursery trays or upwellers and can be shipped to you between May and June, or picked up at the hatchery. If you require over-wintered seed (5-8 mm) that is ready for planting, orders placed in February will be ready in May or June of the next year.  Learn more about how clams are produced in our hatchery or browse our soft-shell clam research.

To order soft-shell clam seed, contact Kyle Pepperman at 207-259-5048 or kyle.pepperman@downeastinstitute.org

Soft-Shell Clam Seed Prices (for pick-up) (updated 10/28/22)

Size (mm) Size (in) Price per 1,000 Availability
1 mm 0.04 in $7.00 April-June
1.5 mm 0.06 in $9.00 May-June
2 mm 0.07 in $11.00 June
4-5.9 mm 0.20 – 0.31 in $30.00 March-May
6 mm >0.32 in $40.00 March-May

Maine communities and individuals ordering DEI soft-shell clam seed,  will need to obtain a permit for transporting and/or transplanting clams from the Maine Department of Marine Resources.  Please follow this link to find an application, instruction and  contact information for the state area biologists in your region.

After February 29, 2023, we will no longer be accepting orders for 5 mm to 8mm soft-shell clam seed. Research surplus at that size may be available; so call Kyle Pepperman (207-259-5048 or kyle.pepperman@downeastinstitute.org) in the spring to check on supply.



Interest in Atlantic Surfclam farming is increasing. As one of a few hatcheries producing this species, DEI’s goal is to provide a steady supply of high-quality Atlantic surfclam seed that aquaculturists can use to diversify their farms.

All orders should be placed by February to ensure spring delivery.

To order Atlantic Surfclam seed, contact Kyle Pepperman at (207) 259-5048 or kyle.pepperman@downeastinstitute.org 

Atlantic Surf Clam Seed Prices (updated 1/4/23)

Size (mm) Size (in) Price per 1,000 Time of Availability
1 mm 0.04 in $7.00 June
2 mm 0.07 in $11.00 June/July
4 mm 0.15 in $17.00 August/September
American Oyster


Downeast Institute is developing a strain of oysters that grow better well in cooler waters.

To order American oyster seed, contact Kyle Pepperman at (207) 259-5048 or kyle.pepperman@downeastinstitute.org 

American Oyster Seed Prices (updated 2/20/24)

Size (mm) Size (in) Price per 1,000 Time of Availability
1 mm 0.04 in $9.00 May – June
1.5 mm 0.06 in $12.00 June
2 mm 0.08 in $15.00 June
3 mm 0.11 in $20.00 June- July
American Lobster at Downeast Institute


DEI can work with you to grow other shellfish species for research and education, including razor clamslobsters and quahogs. Availability will depend on the size and number requested, DEI’s experience in producing the particular species of interest and, in some cases, the natural spawning season of  the species. Please call as far in advance as possible to discuss your needs and we will do our best to accommodate you, including custom spawns, for which the minimum charge is $2,000.


Hatchery species available for research and education:

Larval and Juvenile Lobsters (Homarus americanus)

Only custom spawn services are available for this species.  Fertilized eggs are collected in the summer and will reach Stage 4 in August. Maine schools can get permission to possess sub-legal lobsters for educational purposes by contacting the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Larval and Juvenile Mollusks

DEI provides larval bivalves for research and can grow juveniles from 1-40 mm in one growing season, from February to November.  The size of the specimens will vary, depending on each specie’s growth rate. DEI has the ability to conduct trials with other mollusk larvae and can grow juveniles of many species to about 2 mm in two to three months. Transporting sub-legal size shellfish may require a special license from the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Microalgae (Unicellular Algae) 

DEI raises a variety of diatoms, flagellates, and dinoflagellates that can be shipped for small-scale experiments. Diatoms include: Chaetoceros calcitransChaetoceros muelleriThalassiosira pseudonanaThalassiosira weissflogii, and Skeletonema dohrnii.

Flagellates include Tisochrysis lutea, Pavlova pinguis, Pavlova lutheri, Tetraselmis maculata, Tetraselmis chuii, and Rhodomonas salina. Dinoflagellates include Pyrocystis lunula.

Mussels on Ropes

Eastern Blue Mussels

Downeast Institute has the ability to produce and ship eyed mussel pediveligers to mussel farms for setting on ropes at a farm’s location, referred to as remote settlement.   We can also train mussel farmers to use remote settlement as an alternative to a single natural seed set. Production and technical assistance capacity is limited.

Contact Kyle Pepperman at (207) 259-5048 or kyle.pepperman@downeastinstitute.org to learn more.


Contact Kyle Pepperman at (207) 259-5048 or kyle.pepperman@downeastinstitute.org  to discuss your needs, DEI’s abilities, and cost. You can also learn more about our hatchery and our facility for scientists here.

All proceeds from shellfish seed sales help support DEI’s nonprofit mission.

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