– Hatchery –

Buy Seed & Specimens

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


We take orders for cultured soft-shell clam (Mya arenaria) juveniles in the late winter and spring each year. Clam prices are based on the size of the seed clams produced.

If you are interested in ordering small clams (for growing in an upweller or floating trays), sizes up to 2 mm can be shipped to you between May and June. 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. We can accommodate special orders.

Soft-Shell Clam Seed Prices (updated 1/1/21)

Size (mm) Size (in) Price per 1,000 Availability
1 mm 0.04 in $5.30 April-June
1.5 mm 0.06 in $7.60 May-June
2 mm 0.07 in $10.15 June
5-7.9 .20-.31 $19.00 March-May
>8 mm >.32 $25.00 March-May


QuahogsMercenaria mercenaria, also known as “hard clams”, are an increasingly important commercial shellfish species in Maine, especially in the southwestern region of the coast where seawater temperatures are warmest.

DEI can produce quahog seed, upon request and if space allows. If you are interested in growing quahogs you can learn more about field grow-out methods on DEI’s Quahog research webpages.

To order quahog seed, contact Kyle Pepperman at 207-259-5048.

Quahog Seed Prices (updated 1/1/21)

1 mm 0.04 in $7.00 June
1.5 mm 0.06 in $9.00 June
2 mm 0.07 in $11.00 June/July
4 mm 0.15 in $17.00 August/September
5-8 mm 0.19-0.31 in $22.00 November
>8 mm >0.32 in $38.00 November


Interest in Atlantic surf clam 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 surf clam seed that aquaculturists can use to diversify their farms.

Surf clam seed 2 mm or less should be ordered in February for delivery in the spring. Larger surf clam seed should be ordered 15 months in advance.

To order Atlantic Surf Clam seed, contact Kyle Pepperman at 207-259-5048.

Atlantic Surf Clam Seed Prices (updated 1/1/21)

Size (mm) Size (in) Price per 1,000 Time of Availability
1 mm 0.04 in $5.30 June
1.5 mm 0.06 in $7.60 June
2 mm 0.07 in $10.15 June/July
American Lobster at Downeast Institute


DEI can work with you to grow other marine species, such as razor clams, lobsters and blue mussels, as needed.

We can also help you obtain marine species for educational purposes or scientific research as requested (see below). Availability will depend on the size, number, and season of your species of interest, as well as our experience in producing it. Please call as far in advance as possible to discuss your needs and we will do our best to accommodate you, including custom spawns.  

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 from the DMR 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. We have 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.

Microalgae (Unicellular Algae) 

DEI raises a variety of diatoms, flagellates, and dinoflagellates that we can ship for small-scale experiments. Diatoms include: Chaetoceros calcitrans, Chaetoceros muelleri, Thalassiosira pseudonana, Thalassiosira weissflogii, and Skeletonema dohrnii.

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

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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