Marine - 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.

Click on the permit number to see a map. Maps are in the PDF format.

Permit Location Acreage Deadline for Application
C030 Beaufort County - Intertidal portions of Broad Creek, Hilton Head Island between Bram Point and Lighthouse Landing 14.5 (intertidal) February 29, 2016
C-050 Beaufort County - Intertidal portions of Mackay Creek adjacent to Pinckney Island 22.7 (Intertidal) February 29, 2016
C-072 Beaufort County - Intertidal portions of Whale Branch, Haulover Creek, and an unnamed creek on Port Royal Island 11.7 (intertidal) February 29, 2016
C-166 Charleston County – Intertidal portions of Wadmalaw Sound, Wadmalaw River and Stono River 13.6 (intertidal) February 29, 2016
C-168 Charleston County – Intertidal portions of Wadmalaw Sound, Wadmalaw River and Oyster House Creek 14.0 (intertidal) February 29, 2016
C-215 Charleston County – Intertidal portions of Holland Island Creek and the eastern shore of the Stono River 3.0 (intertidal) February 29, 2016
C-216 Charleston County- Intertidal portions of Hut Creek, Abbapoola Creek and the western shore of the Stono River 3.5 (intertidal) February 29, 2016

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.