Molluscan Shellfish Applications, Forms, and Licenses

Commercial, Municipal, and Special Study-related licenses can be found below. Connecticut General Statute Section 26-192c requires each commercial harvester, producer or shipper of shellfish to obtain a license from the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture (DoAG). The license describes the type of operation authorized, and in some cases the specific areas involved.

Recreational shellfishing licenses are handled by each municipality and may or may not be required. Municipalities may also require a commercial shellfishing license for waters under local jurisdiction.

Please be aware there may be 
other permits needed for an Aquaculture business along with HACCP information and forms that should be referenced. Licenses are valid for one year (July 1-June 30) or for the duration of the activity, if less than one year. They are not transferrable and must be renewed annually. Licenses must be available and presented when requested by the DoAG or Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) enforcement officers.


Navigate to: Shellstock Shipper I License | Shellstock Shipper III License | Seed Oyster Transplant and Sales License | Seed Importation License | Municipal Licenses | Scientific Resource Assessment License

 

All entities licensed by DoAg are responsible for knowing and abiding by the restrictions of the state's shellfish growing area classifications. All shellfish companies are responsible for monitoring and adhering to current shellfish bed division boundaries. Statewide classifications and bed division boundaries are routinely updated here: https://arcg.is/1yuXjm0

COMMERICAL LICENSES
:
Shellstock Shipper I License
  • Shellstock Shipper I license application - updated June 5, 2024. The short version of the application has been discontinued. 
  • This license is required for operations that grow, harvest for market from “Approved or Conditionally Approved Open Areas only,” buy or sell shellstock.
  • They do not authorize operations to shuck shellfish or to repack shucked shellfish.
  • This license is used for either long term relay-transplant operations (including a minimum six months or greater for seed oysters from Prohibited areas) or short term relay operations (including a minimum of 14 days or greater with a water temperature of >50o F) where the shellfish (oysters, clams and mussels) originated from areas classified as Restricted-Relay or better. The shellfish may be re-harvested for market when the specified time/temperature requirements have been met and satisfactory verification studies have been completed or meat sample analysis has been completed and the appropriate shellstock shipper license has been applied for and received. 
  • The full list of regulations is outlined in the Shellstock Shipper I License Application above.
Shellstock Shipper III License

Shipper III licenses must be completed using www.elicense.ct.gov. A step-by-step user guide is available for download.
  • This license allows the applicant to buy shellstock, repack and sell market shellstock. The market shellstock may be obtained from only those dealers included on the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL). The licensee is not authorized to shuck shellfish nor repack shucked shellfish, but may ship shucked shellfish in the original container. Parts A through C are required.  If you're applying for any of the classification below, use this application:
  • Part A: Shucker-Packer License: This license allows the applicant to purchase market shellstock, shuck and pack, repack, ship or reship those market shellfish originating from only those dealers included on the ICSSL prior to resale.
  • Part B:  Repacker License: This license allows the applicant to purchase market shucked shellfish or shellstock from only those dealers included on the ICSSL and repack those shucked shellfish or shellstock prior to resale. This applicant is not authorized to shuck shellfish.
  • Part C:  Reshipper License: This license allows the applicant to purchase market shucked shellfish or shellstock from only those shippers included on the ICSSL and resell that product. The licensee is not authorized to repack or relabel.
Combined Harvest and Relay Activities Amendment Form: Please fill out and submit this form to add or remove a boat, captain, truck, or loading or unloading area to your Shellstock shipper licenses.
 
Seed Oyster Harvesting License
FOR NEW LICENSES: Seed Oyster Seller and Transplanter licenses must be completed using www.elicense.ct.gov. A step-by-step user guide is available for download.
Seed sellers must upload completed Seed Oyster Seller-Buyer Agreement(s) directly into elicense.

FOR LICENSE CHANGES: Seed oystering license change requests must be completed using www.elicense.ct.gov. A step-by-step user guide is available for download.

FOR LICENSE RENEWAL: Seed Oyster Seller and Transplanter license renewals are live as of September 13, 2023, and must be completed using www.elicense.ct.gov. A step-by-step user guide is available for download.
East of the navigation channel in the Bridgeport natural bed remains closed to seed oystering by DoAG.
  • License requirements: This license permits the harvest of seed oysters ONLY from natural shellfish beds from September 20-July 20. To harvest seed oysters on the Housatonic River, you must have the DoAG issued license AND a license from the town of Stratford; harvesting is permitted October 20-July 20. 
  • Size requirements: Seed oysters can be harvested 1) at submarket size (2.5 inches or smaller) when taken from areas classified as Prohibited or closed Conditionally Restricted Relay areas OR 2) at any size in Restricted Relay waters.
  • Reporting requirements: All harvesters must contact DEEP Dispatch (860-424-3503) EVERY DAY THEY WORK, and they must have an operation Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) on all seed oystering boats. The licensee shall immediately report any vessel which is discovered to have a non-operational VMS unit to the DoAG. The DoAG may revoke the license of any individual or boat that does not comply with the VMS requirement.
  • Depuration and testing requirements: ALL seed oysters harvested from Prohibited or closed Conditionally Restricted Relay areas must be transplanted for a minimum of 6 months. ALL seed oysters harvested from Restricted Relay areas must be transplanted for a minimum of 14 days when the water temperature is above 50℉. Pre-market testing is required prior to harvested relayed oysters for sale.
  • Selling/buying requirements: Seed Sellers must have a signed "Agreement to Sell/Buy Seed Oysters" on file with the DoAG. Seed Sellers must update this form with the Bureau prior to selling to a new buyer.
  • Landing Requirements: Seed oyster brought to land CANNOT EXCEED TWO INCHES, regardless of growing area classification. Seed oysters harvested from Prohibited or closed Conditionally Restricted Relay areas must have a red tag or marker satisfactory to the DoAG on each bag/container. Seed oysters harvested from Restricted Relay areas must have a yellow tag or marker. The seed oyster license number must be on ALL tags or markings. 
  • All companies, boats, captains, and helpers must comply with the harvesting and vessel/dredge restrictions, as outlined on their license.

Seed Importation License: This license is required by municipalities, institutions, shellfish companies, or individuals involved in importation or introduction of molluscan shellfish species from outside of Connecticut. You will be required to attach two years of pathology reports to demonstrate good 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. All entities must follow the shellfish importation policy. Failure to comply with these policies will result in the rejection of your application.

Shellfish Seed Importation licenses must be completed using www.elicense.ct.gov. A step-by-step user guide is available for download.


MUNICIPAL LICENSES:
Town Recreational Relay License: This license is required by a municipality or shellfish commission to relay shellfish from areas classified Prohibited (seed oysters only) or better to specified recreational shellfishing areas. After the relay operation has been completed, the license must be voided and returned to DoAG with an application to reopen the relay area. The municipality must maintain the relay area closed to shellfishing until a DoAG license to reopen the area is received. The closure period is a minimum of six months if seed oysters came from Prohibited areas or a minimum of 14 consecutive days or greater with a water temperature of less than 50 degrees F from Restricted-Relay areas.

Town Recreational License To Reopen A Relayed Area:
This license is required by a municipality or shellfish commission to reopen those normally open recreational waters closed to shellfishing due to a town recreational relay operation. The license may be issued after the receipt of a voided Town Recreational Relay License and the required time/temperature purification time has elapsed.

RESEARCH LICENSE:

Scientific Resource Assessment License: This license is required for any entity (government, educational, private/commercial) involved in assessing shellfish resources/populations or conducting scientific studies/experiments/removal/importation of molluscan shellfish.

  • Commercial operations importing shellfish/seed should complete the Seed Importation License above.
  • The scientific resource assessment license is intended for research purposes; shellfish may not be marketed, sold, bartered, consumed or otherwise distributed.
  • You will be required to attach two years of pathology reports to demonstrate good technique, and one report within 2-3 months prior to the date you plan to import shellfish from out-of-state source areas or hatcheries.
  • All entities must follow the shellfish importation policy.
  • Please be advised that the placement of anything into the waters of Long Island Sound, including for research purposes, requires a permit application to both the CT DEEP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Issuance of this Scientific Resource Assessment does not cover the requirements for other State or Federal agencies. It is the applicant's responsibility to complete all of the necessary applications and receive approvals prior to the start of their project.

Scientific Resource Assessment licenses must be completed using www.elicense.ct.gov. A step-by-step user guide is available for download. Enter NA for any required field that does not apply to your project. 

If you have an existing elicense account with a Scientific Resource Assessment license, please contact Emily.Marquis@ct.gov to initiate a renewal, and you will be able to update the information in your application for your new project/proposal.