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Pricing & Shipping Information

1: Product Costs

ALGAE: The price of the starter cultures are as follows:

  • $150 for domestic (US) non-profit institutions
  • $160 for international non-profit institutions
  • $225 for commercial/for-profit institutions
  • $650/$750/$1,000 for a bundle of five (5) aquaculture strains for domestic NP/international NP/commercial entities

We do not offer any discounts on all other products or services. Due to the stipulations of our non-profit grant funding (we are a non-profit institution) this discount is available only to other non-profit institutions. If you are purchasing these cultures on behalf of a US non-profit, you will need to provide an explanation and/or evidence of the non-profit qualification/status. 

.  A few strains will be shipped in 1x50 ml flask if they grow better in tissue culture flasks.  We require prepayment for all international orders and must be prepaid by wire transfer (an additional $30 will be assessed for all wire transfers) or credit card (Visa or MasterCard).  

The goal is for some part of the culture to arrive in a viable condition. The algae can then be subcultured and grown for particular needs. Once the shipment leaves our laboratory, it can be subjected to environmental stress:  being in the dark for at least 24 hours, and different temperatures ranging from very cold (in a cargo hold of an airplane) to very hot (sitting on a loading dock or in a truck in a warm climate). We do not ship at high density because dense cultures do not respond as well to stress as less dense cultures. We do not do cell counts. Starter cultures need to be inspected immediately upon arrival to determine if they are viable; such inspection should include an immediate test of growth capability. If both tubes did not survive shipment with our shipping company, we will reship a starter culture for free for the price of shipping and handling only.  However, we must be notified in writing that it did not survive within two (2) weeks of delivery.  Cultures will be re-shipped only once.  We will only reship if BOTH tubes are dead on arrival.  Our free culture replacement policy is VOID if the customer/recipient uses their own shipping company, the order is shipped via ground service, the order is moved to a location other than its shipped location, and/or there is a delay in the shipment (the order is held in customs, etc.).

You may see different scientific names (or species identifications) for the strains that you may routinely order. This maybe because the strain was originally identified incorrectly. New scientific names are a result of recent genetic research usingDNA analysis, etc. Although the species identifications may change, the strains themselves and the original CCMP number are still the same.

For example, CCMP1332 and CCMP2092 formerly, Skeletonema costatum, have been assigned to the Skeletonema species marinoi (CCMP1332 in publication in Protist 159.2 (2008): 177-193) and CCMP2092 identified by Sarno, private communication, 2011).  CCMP1324 and CCMP463 have been assigned to a new genus and species, Tisochrysis lutea (publication in J Appl Phycol 2013).


BACTERIA/ARCHAEA: The prices are as follows:

Single strain, freeze dried

  • $70 for domestic (US) non-profit institutions
  • $95 for international non-profit institutions
  • $95 standard price


Single strain, frozen

  • $80 for domestic (US) non-profit institutions
  • $105 for international non-profit institutions
  • $105 standard price

The cost of the dry ice and all fees associated with the dry ice are not included in the price.

Additionally, any of our bacterial strains can be reanimated at NMCA and shipped as 10mls of a live culture, for a cost of $155.


2: Shipping Time

ALGAE: Except for our express aquaculture strains, all of our strains are subcultured as they are ordered.  

  • Aquaculture express strains may be shipped on Mondays through Thursdays (note:  international orders are shipped on Mondays).
  • Non-aquaculture strains (not including cryopreserved strains) take at least two (2) weeks from a Monday (for international orders) or Wednesday (for domestic orders).
  • Cryopreserved strains will ship after it is successfully revived.  The growth rate of these strains are anywhere from two (2) weeks to three (3) months.

We normally do not ship starter cultures on Fridays.  However, if you would like the order delivered on a Saturday, additional fees will be assessed.  We also do not ship on the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King Day (3rd Monday in January)
  • Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Juneteenth National Independence Day (June 19)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
  • Veterans’ Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving (4th Thursday in November)
  • Day after Thanksgiving (4th Friday in November)
  • December 24
  • December 25

A holiday that falls on a Saturday will be observed on the preceding Friday.  A holiday that falls on a Sunday will be observed on the following Monday.

TOXIC STRAINS:  If a species of algae is known to be toxic, it will display in the “Alert” section of the product page. This alert means the species in question is known to make toxins. Toxin production can vary over time and with growth conditions. Please read our Terms and Conditions of Sale - Toxin Strains then complete our Toxic Strain Agreement form if you purchase a toxic algae.  The completed form is valid for 12 consecutive months.  

The NCMA does not perform toxin testing; however, our Bigelow Analytical Services will do this service for a fee.

BACTERIA/ARCHAEA: Cryopreserved bacteria/archaeaare normally shipped within three (3) to five (5) business days of when the order is received. The same conditions apply for live strains and algae.


3: Handling Fee

There is a $10 handling fee per order.  The handling fee will still be charged if you pick up the order from our facility.


4: Shipping Fee

Shipping costs depends your location and package weight. This fee will be waived if you would like to pick up the order at our facility.

WARNING: Live cultures MUST ship OVERNIGHT.(Ground shipment of live culture orders is only available to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.) Kits, Prepared Medium and Seawater can ship by ground to any location (if service is available).


5: Duties and Taxes

We are required to declare the actual cost of our products on our customs documentation for international shipments. The payments of any duties,taxes, etc. assessed by the receiving country are the responsibility of the customer.


6: Cancellation Policy

Our starter cultures are grown to order and thawing cryopreserved strains is particularly time and resource consuming.  Please email us as soon as possible at NCMA@bigelow.org if you need to cancel the order.  The following fees will be assessed:

  • $75 restocking fee (not including aquaculture express strains that have not yet been placed in the shipping box) for orders cancelled within five (5) business days of placing the order 
  • 50% cancellation fee of the price of the product(s) ordered for orders cancelled after five (5) business days of placing the order

All shipped orders are considered final. We cannot accept returns on any products including kits, seawater and prepared medium.

If you would like to change the ship date to a later date, please email us with two (2) business days.  There is a $25 date change fee if the ship date is changed on or after the third business day. 


7: Payment Options

Payments must be made in US dollars, and we require prepayment for international orders.   The NCMA accepts the following types of payments:

  • VISA and MasterCard
  • Purchase orders from domestic organizations
  • Cashier’s check payable to Bigelow Laboratory and mailed to 60 Bigelow Drive, East Boothbay, ME  04544
  • Wire transfers:  A $30 wire fee will be added to the order, and you will need to email NCMA@bigelow.org for our banking details

ACH:  Please email NCMA@bigelow.org for banking details