Statewide Shellfish Importation Policy 

This policy applies to all entities (shellstock shippers/licensed harvesters, shellfish commissions, municipalities, research institutions, etc.).

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 seed importation license must be obtained from Bureau of Aquaculture PRIOR to importation.
  • If the importation is part of a research project, a scientific/resource assessment license must be obtained from the Bureau of Aquaculture PRIOR to importation (this is instead, not in addition to, the seed importation license).
  • The applicant must arrange with Bureau of Aquaculture for a sample of live animals to be tested (this may take up to 3 weeks).
  • You will be required to provide two years of pathology reports to demonstrate good hatchery technique, and one report within 2-3 months prior to the date you plan to plant seed in Connecticut from out-of-state source areas or hatcheries.
  • 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.