Relaying Oysters for Commercial Harvest Off-Bottom Aquaculture Details

Relaying Oysters for Commercial Harvest Off-Bottom Aquaculture

General Info - Statewide License

Oysters, clams, or mussels transplanted from a polluted to a clean environment will cleanse themselves of the polluting bacteria or viruses. To protect public health and to make good use of a valuable natural resource, approval from Maryland Department of the Environment, the Department, is required.  

 This cleansing ability is a phenomenon of the shellfish feeding process. The time required for this cleansing is influenced by many factors, including the original level of pollution, water temperature, salinity, and presence of chemicals inhibitory to physiological activity of shellfish.

  • - s

    Approval time

  • $0.00

    Application cost

Obtaining the License

Ready to get your license? - Steps, Requirements, and Documents

  1. The applicant shall request in writing to the Department for permission to relay shellfish from polluted water to approved waters for the purpose of natural cleaning.The letter of application shall specify:

    1. Name, address, phone number, Tidal Wetlands license number, and aquaculture permit # (for the site or origin) for each applicant

    2. The number of oyster bags or containers to be relayed and the approximate beginning and ending date of the relay operation.

    3. A letter from a licensed shellstock shipper agreeing to sell the relayed product and a letter of permission to use the approved site for relay. The letter shall include the aquaculture permit number of the site the oysters are going to and the receiving dealer’s Shellstock

    4. Shipper license/certification number issued by Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH).

    This written procedure shall be included in the shipper/dealers records. The letter shall also include the information that will be used on the shipping tag to identify the product when it is offered for sale; and Evidence that all licenses, permits, and approvals have been obtained.

Apply for the License

  • Online Application

    Complete the form

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  • Download form

    Download the application .PDF file

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License Issuer - Information

Who issues the license?

Maryland Department of Environment

Contact Information

Shellfish Certification Section Public Health Division Water and Science Administration

Tel: (410) 537-3906

Legal Authority

What laws and regulations give Maryland Department of Environment the legal authority to issue this approval?