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
- Washington Eelgrass and Shellfish Aquaculture Workshop Report (2017) (PDF, 64 pages)
- Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association
- Economic Impacts Report, 2013
- Fact Sheet: From the Tides of Puget Sound to your Plate (PDF, 2 pages)