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 changes 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, communities and the public, and the private sector to better understand the relationship between aquaculture, natural systems, and people. Our management decisions are based on science so 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.