Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture on the West Coast
In the Pacific Northwest, the shellfish industry injects an estimated $270 million a year into the region's economy, bringing jobs to over 3,200 people, primarily in coastal communities.
For over 150 years, the Pacific Northwest tidelands have served as productive farm beds for nutritious and delicious oysters, clams, and mussels. Abalone, oysters, and scallops are cultured in California.
Shellfish production requires a healthy, functioning ecosystem to provide safe water quality and appropriate quantities of phytoplankton for food. Scientific research indicates well-managed shellfish farming can improve water quality, species diversity, and habitat complexity. To enjoy the benefits of a thriving shellfish industry, from jobs in our communities to food on our tables, we need a healthy ecosystem.
Commercial Shellfish Species
Pinto Abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana): commercial, restoration
Red Abalone (Haliotis rufescens): commercial, enhancement, restoration
Littleneck Clams (Leukoma staminea): commercial
Manila Clam (Venerupis philippinarum): commercial
Geoduck (Panopea generosa): commercial
Bay/Blue Mussels (Mytilus trossulus): commercial
Mediterranean Mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis): commercial
Eastern Oysters (Crassostrea virginica): commercial
European Flats (Ostrea edulis): commercial
Kumamoto Oysters (Crassostrea sikamea): commercial
Olympia Oysters (Ostrea conchaphila): commercial, restoration
Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas): commercial, enhancement
Fact Sheet: From the Tides of Puget Sound to your Plate (PDF, 2 pages)