Harvest Site Certificate

What is the purpose of this certification?
The Department of Health (DOH) Commercial Shellfish Licensing & Certification Program is responsible for certifying Washington state commercial shellfish operation sites that are commercially harvested. A variety of species are harvested commercially in Washington's Puget Sound and coastal regions, including oysters, clams, mussels, geoduck, and scallops. Since these species are filter feeders capable of concentrating chemicals, bacteria, viruses, or marine biotoxins, an ongoing evaluation of commercial shellfish growing areas, certified harvest sites, and licensed facilities is essential to protect the shellfish-consuming public.
Who issues this certification?
Department of Health
What activities require this certification?
This certificate is required for each parcel being harvested by a licensed shellfish operation. It must be ready to display whenever you are in possession of commercial quantities of molluscan shellfish (clams, oysters, mussels, scallops) that you intend to sell for human consumption. DOH continually evaluates commercial shellfish growing areas and certified harvest sites to protect the public since shellfish can carry chemicals, bacteria, viruses, and marine biotoxins.
How much will this certification cost?
License fee is $263.00 to $1,210.00. The license fee will vary depending on the type of shellfish license.

Biotoxin fee is $353.00 to $2,412.00. The biotoxin fee will vary depending on the type of shellfish license and number of harvest sites.
Where can I get the application for this certification?
The application is called 'Application for Harvest Site Certification' is online and can be accessed at https://doh.wa.gov/community-and-environment/shellfish/commercial-shellfish/harvest-site.
Do I need to include anything with my application?

When applying for a Harvest Site Certificate, we require a completed harvest site application, documentation showing the operation has a legal right to harvest from the site, a map showing the legal boundaries of the site, and a property tax statement showing ownership and parcel number.
Is the decision on my certification dependent on anything besides the information in my application?
All operations must meet stringent state and federal sanitation standards.
How long will it take to review my application?
Varies from one week (if certifying it) to 5 years (if the area is not classified)
Where do I submit my application?
If you are applying for a Harvest Site Certificate for the first time along with a new application for a Shellfish Operation License, send your application to:
    Washington State Department of Health
    Account Receivable
    PO Box 1099
    Olympia, WA 98504-7824
If you already have a Shellfish Operation License and want to add more harvest sites, send your application to:
    Washington State Department of Health
    Office of Environmental Health and Safety
    Post Office Box 47824
    Olympia, WA 98504-7824
How long is my certification valid?
Each harvest site on the harvest site certificate will have an expiration date, which will vary depending on the lease agreement the licensed operation has with the property owner. A current Shellfish Operation License is also required.
What is the appeal process for the certification?
An applicant has the right to an adjudicative proceeding to contest the decision. An adjudicative proceeding is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act Chapter 34.05 RCW.
Notes / Comments:
The application for harvest site certification is included with all three types of Shellfish Operation License applications.

Applications may be obtained from:
    Washington State Department of Health, Office of Environmental Health and Safety
    Physical Address: 101 Israel Rd SE, Tumwater, WA 98501
    Mailing address: PO Box 47824, Olympia, WA 98504-7824
    Phone: (360) 236-3330
    Fax: (360) 236-2257
Legal Authority:
Where can I get permitting assistance?
Web page URL: https://doh.wa.gov/community-and-environment/shellfish/commercial-shellfish/harvest-site
Helpdesk phone: 360-236-3330
Subject matter expert email: shellfish@doh.wa.gov
Statewide Contact:
Department of Health
Office of Environmental Health and Safety
101 Israel Rd SE
Tumwater WA 98501
PO Box 47824, Olympia, WA 98504-7824
Telephone: (360) 236-3330
Fax: (360) 236-2257
Email: shellfish@doh.wa.gov
Website: https://doh.wa.gov/
Triggering Questions:
  • Will you commercially harvest shellfish?
* Permit information last updated 10/19/2022