tagging information 

This information is provided due to the occasional requests that we explain the format of our shellfish tags, especially for the  products  wet stored here at Penn Cove.

As you may be aware, the shellfish tags are part of a Federal and State program designed to identify shellfish products following harvest through the market to the final consumer. This program was established in order to inspire consumer confidence by knowing where and when shellfish products were harvested, and also to allow for enhanced customer safety by being able to identify any shellfish products associated with an illness complaint and thereby allow for tracking of other shipments from the same lot.

The shellfish tag is used to identify the body of water from which the shellfish is harvested as well as the date upon which it’s harvested. This allows customers to discern between different lots shipped and provides for a check on freshness from their distributor.

A point of confusion often arises when product has been harvested from one area and wet stored at another area until they’re sold. The Federal rules regarding shellfish tags state that the tags must identify the original harvest area and harvest date, and if the product is wet stored, that the tag must still identify the original harvest area and harvest date, but shall also make note of the dates of wet storage and certification number of the growing area where the product is wet stored. Confusion sometimes arises when customers see the original harvest date but fail to notice the wet storage dates printed directly below the product description area on the tag.

At Penn Cove Shellfish, we have two wet storage areas. We wet store oysters and clams in the waters of Penn Cove in order to ensure that you and your customers are always getting the freshest shellfish available.s we like to say, they’re “fresh out of the water, not fresh out of the cooler.” We suspend bags of clams and oysters from a wet storage raft anchored in Penn Cove adjacent to our mussel farm rafts. We also have an indoor certified upland recirculating wet storage system . The upland system is used to store those shellfish products not allowed to be stored in Penn Cove due to Fishery Department regulations; these are primarily oysters or clams brought in from Canada and California.

Should you or your customers have any questions regarding this information or concerning tags for wet storage of shellfish, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@penncoveshellfish.com or by phone at 360-678-4803.