• Jay Rutkowski

    Welcome to New Jersey Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture

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    Photo credit: Jay Rutkowski

This website is the result of a multi-agency effort to provide both new and existing shellfish growers with resources on a variety of topics related to commercial shellfish aquaculture in New Jersey all in one place. This includes, but is not limited to: leasing, permitting, and safe harvest and handling practices. Each aquaculture operation in New Jersey is unique and will require different considerations, but the information provided in this website is meant to serve as a resource for general information needed to grow shellfish in the state.

Resources for a Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Operation

In order to facilitate a more streamlined process, especially if you are just getting started, the steps outlined below direct you through the first part of the commercial shellfish aquaculture review process. This sequence moves a prospective or present grower through the process of (1) formulating a business and operational plan prior to applying for permits, (2) learning about safe harvest and handling through an easy-to-follow 15-minute video, (3) obtaining a valid license, if applicable, to harvest shellfish from New Jersey waters, (4) determining where to grow and how to obtain a lease, and (5) learning about the permits that may be required depending on commercial aquaculture activity.

The links below provide additional resources and information which may be necessary during operation (e.g., Vibrio plan, shellfish sales, closure announcements, etc.). Please be advised, this website contains information and requirements through multiple agencies that review commercial shellfish aquaculture activities. Contact information for each agency is available here.

shellfish growing water classification map
Shellfish Growing Water Classification

Control Guides Classification Charts

Shellfish seed
Shellfish Seed

Seed Information
Application for
to Import Seed

NJ Shellfish Bags
Shellfish Sales

Applications for
License &

Shellfish Lease
Shellfish Leasing Information

Additional Information on Leases,
Lease Renewal &

Vibrio Plating

Control Plan

The information and materials included within this site are for guidance only and do not reflect all requirements applicable to shellfish aquaculture; any individual or entity seeking to engage in shellfish aquaculture must comply with all requirements specified in the New Jersey Statutes, those codified in the New Jersey Administrative Code and with all applicable requirements of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.