Rules and Regulations
All commercial shellfish operations must meet stringent state and federal sanitation requirements. Specific steps must be taken to make sure shellfish harvesting and marketing processes do not contaminate shellfish destined for retail markets and restaurants.
Rules and regulations that govern commercial shellfish operations are:
There are several types of commercial shellfish licenses offered in Washington State. Each type has different operating requirements and application forms.
Links to requirements and application forms are offered below under each license type description.
Companies licensed as Harvesters (HA) can harvest shellstock, and can ship and sell it to other Washington licensed commercial Shellstock Shippers and Shucker-Packers. Harvesters cannot sell or ship shellfish to other states or countries. Harvesters do not shuck shellfish, repack shucked shellfish, repack shellstock, or store shellstock in any location other than the approved growing area where the shellstock was harvested. Learn more about the General Requirements for Harvesters (PDF).
Shellstock Shipper License
Shellstock Shippers (SS) can commercially cultivate, harvest, buy, and sell shellstock. They can ship shellstock to other states and countries, and can sell at the retail level. SS companies do not shuck shellfish or repack shucked shellfish. Learn more about the General Requirements for Shellstock Shippers (PDF).
Shellstock Shipper - Wholesale Only
Wholesale Only SS companies are limited to purchasing shellstock and reshipping it in state, out of state, and to other countries. They are not authorized to cultivate or harvest shellstock. As the name implies, they act strictly as wholesalers of commercial shellfish.
Shucker-Packers (SP) can perform all activities allowed for Harvesters and Shellstock Shippers, plus they can shuck shellfish, pack shucked shellfish into jars or similar containers, and repack shucked shellfish into different containers. Learn more about General Requirements for Shucker-Packers (PDF).
Commercial Shellfish Harvesting and Cultivating on Private Land (PDF) - Summary of state regulatory requirements and Indian treaty harvest rights.
Wet Storage - Plan of operations form and guidance on wet storage.
Questions About Licensing
Contact the Shellfish Program at 360-236-3330.