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Licenses to Collect or Possess: Shellfish Gardening

This license allows a waterfront property owner to grow shellfish at their dock, bulkhead or privately owned underwater lands for education and/or restoration purposes through an established shellfish growing program.

License Details

License Fee License Duration Age Requirements
None 1-year from issuance 18 years of age or older

This License Allows:

  • Possession of undersized shellfish obtained from a permitted hatchery.
  • Personal consumption of shellfish if allowed by the shellfish growing program and the licensee understands the risks eating shellfish poses and the protocols to mitigate those risks.

This License Does Not Allow:

  • Any commercial activity. Shellfish raised pursuant to this license shall not be offered for sale, sold, donated, or distributed in any way where they could be made available for public consumption or any other use not authorized by this license.

Required Documentation

  • Include a copy of a map that indicates your shellfish garden site location.
    (Refer to the NYSDEC Shellfish Mapper to ensure your location is in a certified shellfish harvesting area)
  • Only if you are using underwater lands, you must provide proof of ownership.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the License to Collect of Possess: Shellfish Gardening Application (PDF, 782 KB). You may also contact the Marine Permit Office at MPO@dec.ny.gov or by calling (631) 444-0470 to request an application.
  2. Include all Required Documentation (a copy of shellfish garden site location), as indicated above.
  3. Send completed application to the following address:
    NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources- Marine Permit Office
    205 N. Belle Mead Rd, Suite 1, East Setauket, NY 11733.

Current License Holder Information

License Renewal

All licenses expire one year from the date of issuance. A license renewal form will be sent by mail prior to the expiration date noted on the license. If a license renewal form is not received at least 2-weeks prior to the expiration date, email us or contact the Marine Permit Office at (631) 444-0470.

License Amendment

To apply for a license amendment, complete the License Amendment Request Application (PDF, 169 KB). Only include the information pertaining to the specific amendment(s) you are requesting. Please do not include previously submitted information already authorized under your license.

A license amendment can include one or more of the following changes:

  • Name change
  • Contact information change (mailing address, phone number, email address)
  • Site location change
  • Adding or removing designated agents
  • Any other changes
  • Note: Site location and designated agent changes must be submitted prior to the change taking place.

Annual Reporting

All licensees must submit an annual report with their license renewal. The license will have a condition that lists the required information for the annual report.

Applicable Laws and Regulations

Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)

  • 11-0515 Licenses to Collect, Possess or Sell for Propagation, Scientific or Exhibition Purposes

To access full text visit New York State Legislature (link leaves DEC website). Select 'ENV' from the Consolidated Laws list to access ECL. Under Article 11 - Fish and Wildlife, select Title 5, and then select 11-0515.

New York Codes Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

Contact Information

For any questions or concerns, please contact the Marine Permit Office.

NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources - Marine Permit Office
205 N. Belle Mead Rd., Suite 1, East Setauket, NY 11733

E-mail: MPO@dec.ny.gov
Phone: (631) 444-0470
Fax: (631) 444-0434

Additional Resources and Information

Both links leave DEC's website.

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