DOAG: Shellfish Industry Profile

Shellfish Industry Profile and Economic Impact

Connecticut oysters have a reputation for quality and an outstanding safety record.  Shell fishing is an important component of Connecticut’s economy and its recreation and tourism industries.  The DA/BA and the state shellfishing industry have consistently worked with Town recreational shellfishing programs to stock areas for harvest by the public. 

  • Connecticut Shellfishing generates $30 Million plus in farm-gate sales annually.
  • The Connecticut shellfishing industry provides over 300 jobs statewide.
  • Annually Connecticut shellfish harvests exceed 450,000 bushels of Hard Clams and 200,000 of bushels Oysters.
  • More than 70,000 acres of shellfish farms are now under cultivation in Connecticut’s coastal waters.


Industry Statistics:

Number of Licensed Shellfish Harvesters in Connecticut   44


Number of Shellfish Harvest Vessels                             110


Number of Licensed Seed Oystermen                            21


Number of Licensed Seed Helpers                                70


Number of Licensed Seed boats                                  30


Number of firms licensed for wholesale shellfish              32

sales and distribution


Oyster and Clam Market Harvest Data 1990-2007


Shellfish Grounds Revenue:

The State Leasing Program consists of:

  •  674 franchise oyster grounds (more than 100 years old) totaling 22,422 acres and generating annual revenue of $ 88,808.48.
  • 326 Shellfish leases totaling 30,669.07 acres averaging $25.63 per acre and generating $827,856.24 in annual revenue.