Shellfish Department

Digging, harvesting or collecting, attempting to dig, harvest or collect and/or the possession of quahogs and carnivorous snails is prohibited and punishable by a fine of $500. Please obey all posted signage.


The Shellfish Department is responsible for monitoring Gloucester shellfish harvesting areas and enforcing both Gloucester shellfishing regulations and Commonwealth of Massachusetts laws in order to conserve and protect the city’s shellfish resources and promote public health.

Permits & Other Documents

Resident non-commercial permits are issued by the City Clerk’s office at City Hall. For office hours, please call (978) 281-9720. Be sure to view the Shellfish Resource Packet (PDF). Also, Color-Coded Map (PDF), regulations, and ordinances can be also obtained at the City Clerk’s office. For information on closures please contact the Shellfish Department 24 hour hotline at (978) 325-5245.  Non-Residents may apply for a one day or one year (July 1-June 30) non-commercial permit here. ALL PERMIT HOLDERS MUST CALL THE SHELLFISH HOTLINE PRIOR TO HARVEST.

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries 

Shellfish Classification Area Maps 

Types of Permits & Fees

All permits expire on June 30 of each year.

Permit TypeFee
Non-resident, non-commercial clam and seaworm (annual)


Non-resident, non-commercial clam (one day)


Resident, commercial clam and seaworm


Resident, commercial clam (full-time student)


Resident, commercial eel


Resident, commercial or non-commercial (senior 70+ years)


Resident, commercial seaworm only


Resident, non-commercial clam and seaworm