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.

Permit Location Acreage Deadline for Application
No culture permits are available at this time.

Culture Permits may become available at any time, but typically they become available at three set times per year – approximately February, April, and November. However, as permits become available throughout the remainder of the year, they may still be posted as available, so continue to check this page for permit availability. Permits will typically be posted for two to three weeks after which time the application period will be closed and all completed applications received will be considered.

Please contact the Commercial Shellfish office at 843-953-9391 or the Licensing and Permitting office at 843-953-9311 with any questions you may have regarding a commercial shellfish culture permit.


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 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.