Aquaculture activities include restoring, planting, growing, harvesting, transporting, and selling fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants. In Washington, these activities occur in all types of water bodies — from streams, rivers, and lakes, to Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean coast. Aquaculture plays an important economic role in Washington.
Aquaculture is dynamic and viable — and production methods and processes constantly evolve. This means the state's regulatory, permitting, and scientific landscape also shifts to address changes to the industry.
We help protect and restore Washington’s valuable aquatic resources through planning and regulations. We work closely with local and tribal governments, state and federal agencies, the private sector, and the public to better understand the relationship between aquaculture, natural systems, and people. Our management decisions are based on science so to ensure Washington's shorelines remain viable now and for future generations.
Clams, mussels, and oysters from Washington’s cool, clean waters are prized by residents and others around the world. Commercial shellfish operations are regulated at the local, state, tribal, and federal level.
Washington has a policy and a regulatory role in managing and regulating finfish aquaculture. There are two main types: Commercial marine net-pen operations raising non-native Atlantic salmon for market; and fisheries enhancement aquaculture involved in raising native Pacific salmon for release into the wild.