OpenShell’s mission is to create sustainable growth of the shellfish aquaculture industry. OpenShell’s founders are Dr. Kelton Clark and Peter Ettinger.

Dr. Kelton Clark PhD: President, Former Director of Morgan State University’s Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory (PEARL). Dr. Clark has worked with regional and national decision-makers on issues related to Maryland’s and the nation’s coastal and estuarine natural resources.

Peter Ettinger: Business Operations, has a long history in the development, management, and funding of startup organizations in the State. From directing one of the states significant incubators to running a public company, growing and raising funds for his own companies, Mr. Ettinger brings the business acumen and execution abilities needed to create a thriving oyster and shellfish business.


  • True Aquafarms
  • True Chesapeake
  • Oysters Inc.
  • MSU
  • CSM

Tech Transfer 

Open Shell’s strengths rest in our ability to create and exclusively license significant intellectual property that will change the productivity of the shellfish aquaculture industry.

OpenShell has created focused technological solutions that:

  • Address mortality and morbidity of product,
  • Expand the sales of seed and larvae through the introduction of micro-hatcheries and
  • Extend the broodstock lines of associated shellfish.

Regionally Based Hatchery

A key element of our plan is the ability to secure a long-term lease of Piney Point Aquaculture Center, a profitable operating hatchery here in Maryland.

Currently run by Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources, the agency has approached Open Shell, through its relationship with Morgan State University to take over the management and operation of this facility.

Long-Term Planning

What will it take to get to one million oysters a week?

Shellfish aquaculture in Maryland is relatively small and assorted. It tends to act in terms of a collection of businesses as opposed to an industry. To become an industry, it faces challenges from such varied sources as social opposition, problematic leasing and permitting systems, and stakeholder conflicts. The solution starts with the question:  What would it take to get to one million oysters a week? We apply that question to the entire system identifying bottlenecks that constrain growth. OpenShell then develops a matrix of ordered solutions based on your challenges.