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Shellfish program

Shellfish industry information

What products are included under the definition of shellfish?
All edible species of oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops;* either shucked or in the shell, fresh or frozen, whole or in part. Shellfish that has been cooked or has other ingredients added is covered under the seafood program. * Scallops are excluded if the final product is the shucked adductor muscle only.

Why are separate ODA licenses required for buying, distributing or processing shellfish?
Molluscan shellfish or bivalves, such as clams and oysters, can filter contamination and naturally-occurring toxins from their growing waters. ODA classifies shellfish growing waters and certifies shellfish growers and harvesters for safety of harvest.
 
Oregon Revised Statute 622 defines "dealer" as, persons engaged in the business of growing, harvesting, processing or distributing shellfish for human consumption. Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR´s) for Shellfish Sanitation, Chapter 603, Division 100 , define "distributor" as a wholesaler who furnishes or sells shellfish to retail outlets. Dealers will be certified as a distributor, (or shipper SS) only after an approval inspection.

What regulations cover shucker-packers(SP), shippers(SS), harvesters(HV) and growers (GR)?
The State of Oregon has adopted the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) Model Ordinance, Guide for Control of Molluscan Shellfish. The rules require shellfish distributors and processors to identify food safety hazards and establish controls for hazards that are reasonably likely to occur. These requirements include developing a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point or HACCP Plan as required for firms licensed under Seafood HACCP.
 
The NSSP requires all shellfish dealers be trained in safe shellfish handling, including, the HACCP concept. This training or proof of equivalent experience is required prior to certification. A list of HACCP course offerings is available, along with other sites for HACCP information. 
 
Once a shellfish dealer has obtained HACCP training and begun to develop a Shellfish HACCP Plan they will need to consider a facility design. Plans for a new shellfish plant or storage facility construction or existing plant remodeling shall be submitted to the Department for approval, (see OAR 603-100-0030, Shellfish Facilities Plan Review).

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Commercial Shellfish Harvesters and Growers Information

Commercial shellfish harvesters or growers selling clams, oysters, mussels or whole scallops for human consumption must be certified by ODA and conduct business according to the following:
  • ODA Shellfish Sanitation Certificates are required for commercial harvesting for human consumption. Applications are available from Oregon Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Program.
  • Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (ODF&W) Commercial Fishing license is required for harvesting wild shellfish.
  • ODF&W Shellfish Harvest Permits are required and available at ODF&W offices.
  • Commercial shellfish harvesters and growers, harvesting for human consumption, are limited to ODA classified shellfish harvesting areas, see map. Harvesters must provide ODA with a list of their harvest areas. Contact ODA regarding a current management plan for areas where you harvest.
  • Shellfish Tagging - harvesters and growers must attach to each container of shellfish a durable, waterproof tag sized: 2 5/8" X 5 1/4" with information in the following order:
    • Harvester´s certificate number (i.e., OR 777 HV)
    • Harvest date
    • Harvest area (bay or beach)
    • Type and quantity of shellfish
    • This statement: "This tag shall be attached until container is empty or retagged and kept on file for 90 days."
  • Harvesters must sell to buyers who are ODA certified shellfish dealers approved to buy shellfish from harvesters. The harvester must be responsible to assure the dealer is also an ODF&W licensed wholesale fish buyer. 
  • ODA shellfish dealers that are on the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (right column) may not accept razor clams from Oregon harvesters.
  • ODA shellfish dealers that are not listed on the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shipper List (right column) may accept razor clams from Oregon harvesters but may not ship shellfish outside the state of Oregon. 
  • Harvesters may not distribute shellfish for human consumption to restaurants or retail stores. Any such sales will be prosecuted under ODA laws for food safety, (ORS 622).
  • Shellfish must be protected from contamination and temperature abuse. Deliveries to certified shellfish shippers must be made in clean containers within 24 hrs of harvest or less. If outside air temperatures exceed 50 degrees F, deliveries should be made on drained ice.
  • All shellfish harvested as bait must be dyed on landing with ODF&W approved dye (red dye #40), regardless of the area´s classification.
  • Harvesters are not permitted to "wet store" shellstock on the near-shore, alongside harvesting boats, or in any manner. Only certified, shellfish shippers can apply to wet store shellfish.
  • Overboard discharge of human wastes into a shellfish growing areas is strictly prohibited.
  • Commercial harvesting of inter-tidal and sub-tidal clams is a limited participation program. Contact ODF&W, Marine Region Office in Newport for information.

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Approved Shellfish Source Information

All retail stores, restaurants and commercial food processors must purchase fresh and frozen molluscan shellfish (clams, mussels, oysters and whole scallops) from certified shellfish dealers.
 
 
Retailers and restaurants may only buy shellstock (in-shell) in containers or bags that are "tagged" or labeled with original dealer certification number, harvest area and harvest date. Shucked shellfish (shells removed) must be received in containers packed by a certified dealer and labeled with the name of dealer and a "sell by" or "packed" date.
  • Certified shellfish dealers must provide identification "tags" or container labels for shellstock (in-shell shellfish) sold wholesale to retail stores and restaurants. Shellfish dealers must tag shellstock with their tag and certification number if they are not the original shipper.
  • Retailers must keep the tags with the shellstock containers and thereafter retain the tags for 90 days for possible recalls or food-borne illness investigations. Retailers must use a record keeping system to track dates shellstock were served or sold.
 
 
Retailers may not distribute shellfish to other retail outlets without becoming a certified shellfish dealer. Contact the Department of Agriculture for licensing information.
 
 
Shellfish harvesters are not certified to sell shellfish to retailers. This includes razor clams harvested on Oregon beaches. Shellfish received from unapproved sources or dealers may be subject to seizure or embargo as provided by law.

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Leasing state owned lands for shellfish aquaculture

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Recreational Shellfish Closure Information

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Licensing and inspections

Licensing information on issuing a food license, preliminary inspections, multiple activities covered by one statute, transferring licenses and interagency agreements in Oregon.
Inspection information on regular or routine inspections, initial inspections and other types of inspections.
Licensing and inspections
 
State licenses web site describes license type, references statute and rule, lists responsible agency and links to licensing prerequisites.
Shellfish canner license, commercial
Shellfish commercial harvester
Shellfish culture plat on state-owned esturary lands, application for
Shellfish distributor, shipper, wholesaler
Shellfish grower
Shellfish shucker-packer

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