The shellfish harvester training course is required to be completed annually by all commercial oyster and clam harvesters in order to receive or renew a Shellfish Endorsement issued by FWC or an Apalachicola Bay Oyster Harvesting License (ABOHL) or Aquaculture Certificate of Registration for the harvest of oysters and clams from an aquaculture lease as issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). This course provides training in sanitary shellfish harvesting, handling, and transportation practices.
Beginning July 1, 2015, all Saltwater Products License (SPL) holders who commercially harvest, possess or sell oysters or hard clams (quahogs) and do not have an ABOHL license are required to have a Shellfish Endorsement unless they are harvesting from an aquaculture lease under the authority of an Aquaculture Certificate of Registration issued by FDACS. To apply for and receive this free endorsement, SPL holders are required to take the Shellfish Harvester Training Course on an annual basis. This course meets FDACS requirements for shellfish training as specified for ABOHL and Aquaculture Certificates of Registration.
This course allows Florida’s shellfish industry to meet National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) requirements for food safety training relating to shellfish harvest and post-harvest handling practices. The training is designed to help shellfish handlers minimize the growth of Vibrio bacteria and to reduce the risk of associated illnesses.