Coastal Alabama Fisheries Fund

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Oysters are one of the most sustainable proteins in the world. As bivalves, they require no greenhouse gas-producing feeds or inputs but instead filter nutrients from up to 50 gallons of water per day, thereby improving water quality and conditions for other aquatic plants and animals.

Oyster reefs also help protect the coastline from the effects of winds and waves and provide foraging and nursery habitat for many species, forming the base of marine food webs. Reef height even rises with sea level as oysters reproduce, providing added resilience. One acre of reef provides a value of $6,500 in denitrification (removing nitrogen) and $2,125 in shoreline stabilization per year. Due to these benefits, oyster farming and sustainable harvesting are increasingly part of habitat conservation and restoration, as well as economic revitalization, strategies for coastal areas.


The Coastal Alabama Fisheries Fund is a pilot loan program providing affordable financing to oyster farmers and harvesters in Coastal Alabama who want to start or expand commercial shellfish aquaculture operations or a tonging operation. Additional partners provide training and business plan help to shellfish growers.

Loan proceeds can be used to purchase shell, seed, spat, or equipment. Both bottom culture and water column projects are eligible.

Our Mission

The Coastal Alabama Fisheries Fund is a revolving loan fund to support local fisheries and fishing communities with an initial focus on oyster industries. This low-interest microloan fund allows oyster farmers and catchers in Mobile and Baldwin counties to easily access small amounts of capital to support their businesses, create jobs, and provide oysters.

Our Vision

Increased oyster production in Alabama’s Mobile and Baldwin counties will be a key contributor to expanding the region's seafood industry. By making loan financing available to commercial watermen in expanding the number and size of shellfish aquaculture operations and increasing interest in reef health and productivity, the Coastal Alabama Fisheries Fund is working to grow Alabama’s seafood industry to its vibrant potential.

Our Partners

The Coastal Alabama Fisheries Fund is an effort of Alabama Power, 22nd State Bank, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant, the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory, Oyster South, Coastal Alabama Partnership, and the Alabama SBDC Network with support provided by the MBNEP's Business Resource Committee.

What CAFF Offers

Through these partnerships, CAFF can provide:

  • Microloans for oyster aquaculture and tonging operations
    • Between $2,000 and $10,000
    • Interest rates as low as 3.00%
    • Flexible terms
  • Business resources and planning tools
    • Business plan assistance
    • Marketing development
    • Technical training

Coastal Alabama Fisheries Fund Application for Oyster Aquaculture

Coastal Alabama Fisheries Fund Application for Oyster Catching