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RI Coastal Resources Management Council preserve, protect, develop, and restore coastal resources for all Rhode Islanders

Baskets of shellfish

In addition to many other small businesses all over the state, the Rhode Island aquaculture industry is suffering right now because of COVID-19. With restaurants closed, it might seem difficult to enjoy the fresh shellfish you’ve come to expect at local eateries.

Rhode Islanders can still purchase shellfish from local growers during this time to support Rhode Island’s economy! Here are some resources and information:


Don’t worry about shellfish going bad or dying; the animals not being harvested are okay, and will continue to filter water and improve water quality!


Buy local – If you’ve purchased retail shellfish product before from an aquaculturist, contact them for continued sales and product.


Products available in Rhode Island include the most popular, oysters, as well as limited quantities of mussels and quahogs. Kelp is also grown in Rhode Island, though it is a fairly new product here.

If you’ve never purchased shellfish direct before but would like to, there are a number of ways:


Check out the Ocean State Aquaculture Association web site ( for a list of some of the state’s growers/sellers.


Visit the Rhode Island Sea Grant web site, which offers information on all things shellfish and aquaculture as food and industry in Rhode Island, and might provide an avenue for you (


Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management offers a comprehensive site for seafood in Rhode Island, including aquaculture products –


Ask your friends and neighbors to see if they purchase through someone – word of mouth is important in Rhode Island!

Growers are already following best practices to prevent shellfish-borne illnesses (keeping temperatures at a certain level, keeping their work areas clean, etc.), so there is no need to be concerned that these growers are subjecting you to COVID-19 any more than usual. Talk to your grower about any concerns you have, and set up a contactless delivery. Enjoy your fresh shellfish!

Stedman Government Center
Suite 116, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879-1900
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