How long do shellfish live?

Oysters and clams can live over 100 years. Bay scallops do not usually live passed the second year.

What do shellfish eat?

Shellfish bivalves are fiter feeder. They feed on the microscopic phytoplankton present in the water column. 

Where do I get a shellfishing license?

To get a shellfishing, contact the town hall of the town you wish to shellfish in. 

What is the legal size for quahogs?

To be legal to harvest, hard clams or quahogs must be at least 1 inch thick (from valve to valve).

Useful Links


  • National Shellfisheries Association 
    Promoting shellfisheries research and management since 1908.
  • East Coast Shellfish Growers Association  
    The mission of the ECSGA is to promote responsible commercial shellfish aquaculture through market research and promotion, active involvement in public education, participation in policy formation at the state and national levels, and directed research. 
  • Friends of Sengekontacket 
    Friends of Sengekontacket, Inc. is a not for profit organization formed for the sole purpose of protecting Sengekontacket Pond, its barrier beach, Joseph Sylvia State Beach, and Trapps' Pond.


  • National Sea Grant Office 
    Sea Grant is NOAA's primary university-based program in support of coastal resource use and conservation. 
  • NOAA Fisheries 
    NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to the stewardship of living marine resources through science-based conservation and management, and the promotion of healthy ecosystems.
  • Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture 
    Helping to keep Massachusetts' food supply safe and secure, working to keep Massachusetts agriculture economically and environmentally sound.