Importation Policy for Licensed Shellstock Shippers

Northern quahog:The Bureau of Aquaculture will not allow the importation of clams from south of NJ.

Eastern oyster:  The Bureau of Aquaculture does not allow the importation of oysters with the exception of hatchery stock from RI and MA, or stock from NY and Long Island Sound.

Bay scallops:  The Bureau of Aquaculture does not allow the importation of scallops from outside of Long Island Sound.

Prior to all importation:

  • Prior to any shellfish importation, the source must be approved by the state shellfish pathologist at the Bureau of Aquaculture. 
  • A scientific resource assessment license must be obtained from Bureau of Aquaculture.
  • The applicant must arrange with Bureau of Aquaculture for a sample of live animals to be tested (this may take up to 3 weeks).
  • The source of product is not guaranteed to be approved, and should be a consideration in any project plans.
Risks associated with importing shellfish:


  • Larvae, seed, and adult shellfish can harbor pathogenic, toxic, or non-native organisms.
  • Shellfish diseases can spread to native populations, or can be transferred by reproduction.
  • Imported shellfish can contain the phytoplankton that cause harmful algal blooms (HABs) which can impact fish, shellfish, and human health.
  • Larvae of non-native species (ex: crabs, tunicates) can be transported with shellfish and lead to predation and biofouling.