Apprenticeship In Shellfish Aquaculture Program (ASAP)

Apprenticeship in Shellfish Aquaculture Program (ASAP) is a unique new training concept for New Jersey high school students ages 16 and older to gain understanding about the aquaculture industry through education and practice. With a combination of in-person instruction and on-farm work experience, participants will discover the inner workings of shellfish aquaculture, gain entry level work skills, and learn what it takes to get food from the farm to our tables.


A collaboration of New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, Rutgers University’s Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory and industry partners, ASAP brings participants closer to the knowledge and understanding of shellfish aquaculture as one of New Jersey’s emerging industries that produces an important food source and contributes to coastal economies. The foundations of aquaculture science and technology are the heart of the program that incorporates industry practices and basic skills training with real-world experiences. Apprentices learn and gain valuable experiences with paid summer work, mentorship by program facilitators and industry professionals, and support from fellow participants.

The Spring 2024 program includes:

  1. A virtual introductory meeting to learn about program requirements and to meet fellow apprentices; 
  2. A week-long “boot camp” at Rutgers University’s Cape Shore Laboratory in Cape May Courthouse from June 24-28, 2024 (transportation from various locations and lunch will be provided); 
  3. An 8-week PAID apprenticeship on a commercial shellfish farm, aquaculture facility, or with organizations currently conducting aquaculture research; 
  4. Bi-weekly virtual team meetings to connect with fellow apprentices and receive guidance from program facilitators; and
  5. A “Shellfish Farming Practice Certificate” upon completion of the program.

Are you interested in joining a great group of individuals who want to learn more about aquaculture biology and technology and the opportunities in this fast-growing industry?  Applications are required to be considered for participation and are due May 1, 2024. Your application should include:

  1. ASAP Participant Application (parent/guardian agreement required)
  2. Letter of recommendation from your most supportive teacher must be uploaded to the application

Would you like more information? Contact any of the program facilitators:

This project is sponsored by New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium with funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Sea Grant, under grant #NOAA-OAR-SG-2023-2007550, Special Projects “D”.