Licensing

What is a molluscan shellfish? What products are included?

Scallops in any form (except if the final product is the shucked adductor muscle only), and all species of oysters, clams, and mussels:

  • Raw
  • Shucked or in the shell
  • Post-harvest processed
  • Frozen or unfrozen
  • Whole or in part
Shellfish that has been cooked or have other ingredients added is covered under Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).

Why are ODA licenses required for buying, distributing, or processing shellfish?

Molluscan shellfish, such as clams and oysters, can filter contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, and toxins, from the marine waters they grow in. They can concentrate these contaminants to higher levels than were present in the marine water and this can cause illness. ODA classifies shellfish growing area waters and licenses shellfish growers, harvesters, dealers and processors. 

Who must be licensed?

  • Commercial shellfish harvesters or growers selling clams, oysters, mussels, or whole scallops for human consumption must be licensed by ODA.
    • Commercial shellfish harvesters and growers, harvesting for human consumption, are limited to ODA classified shellfish harvesting areas (see map in the resources list). Harvesters must provide ODA with a list of their harvest areas. Contact ODA to obtain copies of the current management plans for areas where you plan to harvest.
  • An Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Commercial Fishing license is required for harvesting wild shellfish. ODFW Shellfish Harvest Permits are available at ODFW offices.

Types of commercial shellfish licenses and regulations

Dealers are persons engaged in the business of growing, harvesting, processing or distributing shellfish for human consumption.

Grower (GR) 

Dealer engaged in the business of growing shellfish intended for human consumption. Dealer will be certified as a grower and assigned a certification number designating (GR) as the type of operation.

Harvester (HV) 

Dealer who harvests shellfish intended for human consumption or employs persons to harvest shellfish intended for human consumption from growing areas. Dealer will be certified as a harvester and assigned a certification number designating harvester (HV) as type of operation.
  • Harvesters must sell only to buyers who are ODA certified shellfish dealers approved to buy shellfish from harvesters.
  • The harvester is also responsible for assuring the dealer is also an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) licensed wholesale fish buyer.
  • 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, see ORS 622.
  • Commercial harvesting of inter-tidal and sub-tidal clams may be restricted by ODFW.
    • Contact ODFW, Newport  Marine Resources Program for information about this limited participation program.

​Shellstock shippers (SS) 

Dealers who buy, sell, or ship shellstock. Dealer will be certified as a distributor and assigned a certification number designating shellstock shipper (SS) as the type of operation.
  • ​A shellstock shipper may ship shucked shellfish, but is not authorized to shuck or repack shucked shellfish.

Shucker-packer (SP) 

Dealers who shuck, pack, and repack shellfish. Dealer will be certified as shucker-packer and assigned a certification number designating shucker-packer (SP) as the type of operation.

Shellfish canner license, commercial 

This license is administered by ODFW and is required if you are commercially canning clams or mussels (not oysters). In addition, you must have a Food Processor’s license from ODA. For more information about Food Processor licensing see the 'Licensing Informaion' link to the left.

If you are interested in obtaining a commercial shellfish license please contact our office at 503-986-4720 to obtain an application packet.

National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP)

The State of Oregon has adopted the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) Model Ordinance, Guide for Control of Molluscan Shellfish. Shellfish harvesters, growers, distributors and processors are required to identify food safety hazards and establish controls for the hazards that are likely to occur. This includes developing a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plan. Training is usually required for the development of HACCP plans.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) training

  • Segment One: Internet Training Course
  • Segment Two: Training Session with an Instructor

​In the Resources section below is a link to a list of registered HACCP courses and additional information about Segment One and Two. If you already have adequate experience with HACCP, your experience and training may count. ​

Facility design

Once a shellfish dealer has obtained HACCP training and started a shellfish HACCP Plan they will need to consider a facility design. Plans for new construction or the remodeling of an existing plant or storage facility shall be submitted to ODA for approval prior to beginning any new construcion or remodeling, see OAR 603-100-0030, Shellfish Facilities Plan Review.

Shellfish tagging

All dealers (growers, harvesters, shellstock shippers and shucker-packers) must attach to each container of shellfish a durable, waterproof tag that meets NSSP labeling requirements.

Commercial razor clam harvesting

To harvest razor clams commercially you must obtain an ODA shellfish license, see above, and you must obtain a commercial fishing license from ODFW.

All shellfish harvested for use as bait must be dyed on landing with ODFW approved dye (red dye #40), regardless of the area's classification.

ODA has authority to restrict the distribution of shellfish sold by commercial processors and will halt distribution if sampling indicates shellfish are above the alert level for biotoxins. People are more likely to suffer illness from eating shellfish with levels of biotoxins above the alert levels.

  • Alert level for domoic acid is 20 ppm (parts per million)
  • Alert level for paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) is 80 micrograms per 100 grams
​Harvest controls are implemented when biotoxins reach the alert level, thereby reducing the risk to consumers. Shellfish samples are collected regularly, as tides, weather, and surf allow.

ODFW has authority to restrict razor clam harvesting along Clatsop beaches. ODFW issues a conservation closure each year from July 15th through September 30th to protect newly set clams.

Approved shellfish source information

All retail stores, restaurants, and commercial food processors must purchase fresh and frozen shellfish from certified shellfish dealers only. Retailers may not sell or distribute shellfish to other retail outlets without becoming certified shellfish dealers.

Dealers are inspected under the National Shellfish Sanitation Program standards as administered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). ODA certifies shellfish dealers in Oregon and maintains a list of dealers approved to sell shellfish wholesale.

  • Shellfish received in interstate commerce must be from a source listed in the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL).
  • Razor clams harvested in Oregon are prohibited from interstate sales (they must be sold in-state only).
  • ODA shellfish dealers currently listed on the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shipper 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) are prohibited from interstate sales or interstate receipt of shellfish. They may accept razor clams from Oregon harvesters, but can only sell them in-state.

Retailers and restaurants may only buy

  • Shellstock (in-shell) in containers or bags tagged or labeled with original dealer certification number, harvest area, and harvest date.
    • Keep the tags with the shellstock containers until empty, once empty retain the tags for 90 days
    • Use a record keeping system to track dates shellstock were served or sold
  • Shucked shellfish (shells removed) in containers packed by a certified dealer and labeled with the name of dealer and a sell-by or packed date.
    • Use a record keeping system to track the shellfish company name, lot number, and dates shucked shellfish were served or sold

Resources

HACCP Online Training Course

Website

Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL)

Website

National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP)

Website

ODA Shellfish Dealers

Document

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Commercial Fishing Licenses

Website

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Offices

Website

Procedures for Stem Thermometer Testing

Ice Point Method for Stem Thermometer Testing Document

Seafood HACCP - Is it required?

Document

Shellfish Coast Map

Classified Commercial Shellfish Growing Areas in Oregon Document

Shellfish Harvest or Original Dealer Purchase Record

Editable Word document Document

Shellfish Harvest Sanitation Record Combined

Editable Word document Document

Shellfish Harvesters and Growers Information

ODA Shellfish Sanitation Program- Commercial Harvesters and Growers Information Document

Shellfish Law - ORS Chapter 622

Law or rule

Shellfish Purchase Record

Editable Word document Document

Shellfish Regulation - OAR 603-100

Law or rule

Shellfish Sanitation Monitoring Checklist

Editable Word document Document

Shellfish Tags

Examples of Dealer's and Harvester's Tags Document

Shellfish Thermometer Record

Monthly/Weekly Thermometer Accuracy Record, editable Word document Document

Shellstock Shipping Record

Editable Word document Document

Shellstock Storage Record

Editable Word document Document

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Contact

Main Office
Food Safety
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-4720
Shellfish Safety Hotline
Shellfish Safety Hotline
Food Safety
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 800-448-2474
Alt Phone: 503-986-4728
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