Shellfish Research and Information
Services for the U.S. West Coast

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Where We Work


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Internships with PSI

Intern or volunteer on one of PSI's research projects or outreach campaigns.


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The man with a plan

PSI researcher, Andy Suhrbier helps shellfish growers adapt to changing ocean conditions.



Oregon estuaries are rich with many species of clams, although only a few of these species are commonly harvested. Gaper, butter, cockle, littleneck, and softshell are primarily harvested due to their abundance, size, and taste. A wide variety of other bivalve species are found in Oregon estuaries, but not commonly harvested due either to their scarcity or lack of palatability. The commercial shellfish industry in Oregon is small (fewer than 20 operations) and almost entirely comprised of oyster farming.

Netarts Bay, OR is home to the Whiskey Creek shellfish hatchery, the largest shellfish hatchery in the U.S. Whiskey Creek provides oyster, clam, and mussel seed for commercial as well as restoration efforts. Whiskey Creek has also been at the forefront of ocean acidifciation research and adaptation. Beginning in 2007, the hatchery struggeled with mass mortalities associated with highly corrosive upwelled water off the Oregon coast. In the last few years, thanks to research and improvements in hatchery monitoring techniques, Whiskey Creek has been able to better predict and respond to changes in ocean chemistry and the negative impacts of those changes on shellfish larvae.

In Oregon, shellfish research and outreach is conducted in numerious locations all along the coast. The Oregon State University Molluscan Broodstock Program (MBP) has operated out of the the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport since 1996. MBP has been producing and selecting Pacific oyster families, working in partnership with the West Coast oyster industry to improve the performance of Pacific oysters through selection. The program has focused on improving Pacific and Kumamoto oyster broodstock through selection in order to enhance commercial yields and other desirable traits, establish a broodstock management program for industry for sustainable, long-term improvements in commercial production, and maintain a repository for selected top-performing oyster families.

The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (South Slough NERR) is a site dedicated to scientifi c investigations that have direct applications toward improvements in regional coastal zone management. The Research Program aims to understand patterns and processes that contribute to healthy coastal and estuarine ecosystems in the Lower Columbia biogeographic regions. Over the past 15 years, South Slough NERR has studied the effects of oyster mariculture, restoration and recovery of native Olympia oysters, as well as eelgrass, invasive species, and the ecological consequences of changing ocean conditions.

OREGON: Recent PSI Research and Outreach

Comparative Habitat Use Study: Native Seagrass and Cultured Shellfish in West Coast Estuaries

Ocean Acidification Monitoring

Public Opinion of Shellfish Farming: A report on the public perception of shellfish aquaculture in select counties in Washington, Oregon and California

Planning for sustainable shellfish aquaculture: identifying current activities, public perceptions, conflicts, and compatibilities

West Coast Shellfish Aquaculture - Economic Impacts, Barriers to entry, and Opportunities for Expanded Production

Illustrated Guide to Bivalve Pests in Washington and Oregon

Burrowing Shrimp Studies

Additional Resources

Oregon Department of Agriculture Shellfish Program

OSU Molluscan Broodstock Program

Oregon Deptartment of Fish & Wildlife Recreational and Commercial Shellfish

South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve