Shellfish Aquaculture

Ecology is one of several state and federal agencies that have a policy and regulatory role in shellfish aquaculture. We issue water quality permits and approve local shoreline master programs. We work with a variety of stakeholders to protect and restore aquatic habitats, and plan for this water-dependent use alongside other shoreline uses.

We also support scientific research to better understand the interactions among shellfish aquaculture, native plants and animals, and Washington’s valuable aquatic ecosystems – and use science as the foundation of our decisions. For questions about specific topics, please see Staff contacts.

Permits for your business

For questions about specific permits for your business, please contact the Governor's Office for Regulatory Innovation & Assistance or your city or county planning department for the most up-to-date information.  The Shellfish Interagency Permitting Team also provides guidance on the various levels of the permitting process

State agencies

Policies, regulations, science and case law affecting Washington shellfish aquaculture frequently change. Listed below are links to the most prominent entities with a role in Washington shellfish aquaculture.

Federal agencies and tribal governments


Shellfish Safety Hotline (Washington State Department of Health)

Shellfish Aquaculture Debris Hotline (Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association)

Washington Shellfish Initiative Phase II

Governor's Office for Regulatory Innovation & Assistance