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July 20, 2007
Contact: Lori Preuss, (360) 902-2930

Shellfish and seaweed harvesters no longer
required to wear fishing licenses as of July 22

OLYMPIA – Starting Sunday, July 22, people harvesting shellfish or seaweed will no longer be required to display their fishing licenses on their clothing.

The law requiring those harvesters to display their licenses on their outer garments was repealed by the 2007 Legislature at the request of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

That requirement, first passed into law in 1979, was designed to allow enforcement officers to scan an entire beach for fishing-license violations, said Bruce Bjork, WDFW chief of enforcement.

“The requirement had some value for enforcement purposes, but it could be a hassle for clam diggers and other harvesters – especially if they lost their license during harsh weather,” Bjork said. “It really makes more sense to focus on individual contacts, since we do that anyway.”

Bjork emphasized that shellfish and seaweed harvesters are still required to carry current fishing licenses when harvesting those resources.

“The new law eliminates the need to display your shellfish or seaweed license on your clothing, but other licensing rules remain in effect,” he said.