For thousands of years, shellfish aquaculture has been part of the Pacific Northwest landscape. Shellfish are an economically important source of food and are culturally important to Washington's coastal Indian tribes.
We work with a variety of stakeholders to protect and restore aquatic habitats, and plan for shellfish aquaculture activities alongside other shoreline uses. This includes:
- Issuing water quality permits.
- Reviewing and approving local shoreline master programs and issuing guidance on shoreline aquaculture planning.
- Supporting scientific research to better understand interactions among shellfish aquaculture, native plants and animals, and Washington’s valuable aquatic ecosystems.
- Using science as the foundation for our decisions.
Permits for businesses
Please contact the Governor's Office for Regulatory Innovation & Assistance (ORIOA) for permitting information, including the Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application (JARPA). You can also contact your city or county planning department for the most up-to-date information.
The Shellfish Interagency Permitting team also provides guidance about the state and local permitting process.
The legal foundation for shellfish aquaculture in Washington is complex and continually evolving.
You can search the legal decisions of the Environmental and Land Use Hearings Office (including the Shorelines Hearing Board, Pollution Control Hearings Board and Growth Management Hearings Board) — Enter “shellfish aquaculture” into the document text search box.
We are just one of several state and federal agencies that have policies as well as a regulatory role in overseeing shellfish aquaculture.
Washington Department of Agriculture
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Fishing & Shellfishing
- Shellfishing regulations
- Shellfish import and transfer permits
- Aquatic Farm Registration Form