Shellfish Culture Permits

SCDNR may grant permits to any state resident for the exclusive use of state bottoms or waters for commercial shellfish culture.

A person or entity desiring to acquire a Shellfish Culture Permit for any bottoms or waters must make written application to the department on a form provided by the department. A nonrefundable sum of $25 dollars must accompany the application for each permit.

SCDNR reviews applications and determines whether and to whom to issue a culture permit based on:

and other factors that may be relevant.

These requirements are paraphrased from the SC Code of Laws - The actual code can be found SC Code of Laws, Title 50 Chapter 5 (Article 9, Shellfish).

Currently Available Permits

Annual rental fees ($5/acre) and planting quotas (50 bushels/acre) will be based on the listed acreage, which is subject to update annually as new information is received.

A separate application must be submitted for each area of interest. If applying for multiple areas, please assist the review committee by indicating preference order.

Commercial Shellfish Areas
Permit numbers are links to maps that are in the PDF format. File sizes are 1MG or more.
Permit Location Acreage Deadline for application
C-047 Beaufort County -  Intertidal portions of Mackay Creek 14.5 (intertidal) February 21, 2020


Beaufort County – Intertidal portions of tributary of Mackay Creek 19.5 (intertidal) February 21, 2020
C-062 Beaufort County – Intertidal portions of Bird Island and Euhaw Creeks 22.3 (intertidal) February 21, 2020
C-069 Beaufort County – Intertidal portions of East Branch and Boyd Creeks off Broad River 6.8 (intertidal)

February 21, 2020

C-106 Beaufort County – Intertidal portions of Harbor River flats 27.0 (intertidal) February 21, 2020
C-157 Charleston County – Intertidal portions of Ocella & South Creeks and North Edisto River 13.7 (intertidal) February 21, 2020
C-166 Charleston County – intertidal portions of Wadmalaw Sound 12.0 (intertidal) February 21, 2020
C-168 Charleston County – intertidal portions of Wadmalaw Sound and Oyster House Creek 14.0 (intertidal) February 21, 2020
C-169 Charleston County – intertidal portions of Wadmalaw Sound 23.5 (intertidal) February 21, 2020
C-173 Charleston County – intertidal portions of North Edisto River and Leadenwah Creek 30.0 (intertidal) February 21, 2020
C-230 Charleston County – intertidal and subtidal portions of Inlet and Swinton Creeks 4.8 (intertidal)
1.6 (subtidal)
February 21, 2020


Applications (PDF) should be submitted to:

SC Dept. of Natural Resources
Commercial License Office
P.O. Box 12559
Charleston, S.C. 29422

Applying for a Culture Permit

Each application must be accompanied by a $25 non-refundable application fee.

Application for Shellfish Culture Permit is in the Adobe PDF format. Companies applying for a culture permit must also complete the Company Information for Mariculture/Culture Permits (PDF) form. Successful applicants will be required to complete an Affidavit for Sale of Molluscan Shellfish (PDF) form.

Application forms may also be obtained at these locations:

  1. DNR License Offices (Columbia, Florence and Charleston)
  2. DNR Commercial License Agents (Beaufort, Andrews and Little River)
  3. DNR Marine Permit Office, 217 Ft. Johnson Rd, Charleston

Maps and additional information may also be obtained by calling the Shellfish Management Section (843) 953-9391 or the DNR Marine Fisheries Permitting Office (843) 953-0453 or (843) 953-9311.