Shellfish Department

Shellfish Permit Information:

Residential recreational permits for 2022 are REQUIRED and available ONLY through the Select Board's office located at 56 School Street.

If you have questions regarding a shellfish permit application, please call Debra Alley at 508-693-3554 x115.

Non-residential veterans of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may obtain a recreational shellfish permit at no cost.

 Fees charged to Commonwealth veterans for recreational shellfishing

Non-residential one-week, two-week and one-month recreational shellfish permits are available from May to September at Dick’s Bait & Tackle, 108 New York Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, phone 508-693-7669


  • Enforces laws and regulations relating to shellfish
  • Culture shellfish and administer town shellfish beds
  • Provide coordination of Town shellfish conservation activities
  • Research, propose and obtain grant funding for shellfish related projects
  • Public education and safety
  • Oversees private aquaculture
  • Leases and herring regulations

Areas open for shellfishing:

  • Lagoon Pond (see map below for closure area)

  • Outside Waters

  • Sengekontacket Pond (see map below for closure area)

If the red flag is flying at either of the bridges to Sengekontacket Pond, it means the pond is closed for shellfishing.

Oyster Season is NOT OPEN in Sengekontacket Pond

Scallop Season opening dates:

Sengekontacket Pond:

  • Recreational Permit Holders - Saturday, October 21, 2023

Sengekontacket Pond & Outside waters:

  • Commercial Permit Holders - Monday, October 30, 2023

Lagoon Pond:

  • Recreational permit Holders - Saturday, November 4, 2023
  • Commercial Permit Holders - Monday, November 6, 2023

Harbor (dependent on water test results):

  • Recreational Permit Holders - Saturday, December 9, 2023
  • Commercial Permit Holders - Monday, December 11, 2023

Limits will remain as follows:

  • Recreational Permit Holders - one heaping bushel per week
  • Commercial Permit Holders - three heaping bushels per day for inside waters & five struck bushels per day for outside waters

Please remember: (322 CMR.6.11): No person shall land or possess bay scallops without a well defined growth line and that growth line shall measure at least 10 millimeters from the hinge of the shell. Exception: Bay Scallops that have an annual growth line located less than 10 millimeters (mm) from the hinge of the shell, shall be lawful to harvest if the shell height is at least 63.5 millimeters (mm) or 2.5 inches.