Shellfish such as clams, oysters, crab, shrimp and many other species have been an important part of the diet and heritage of the Point No Point Treaty Tribes for thousands of years. Readily available year round, shellfish could be harvested, cured, and stored to supplement other foods, like salmon or game.
Today, shellfish remain a vital component of Indian life. With the decline in some wild and hatchery salmon populations, tribal economies are focusing more and more on shellfish harvesting to supplement income. The tribes have also worked hard to maintain harvesting as a cultural practice. The primary focus of our shellfish program is to ensure that shellfish harvest opportunities remain available for current and future generations of our tribal fishers.
Ensuring harvest opportunities of shellfish in the inland marine waters of Washington State is becoming increasingly difficult given our changing climate and stressors associated with increased local population density such as pollution and growing demand for shellfish. The Point No Point Treaty Council employs shellfish biologists and harvest managers who, in coordination with staff from our member tribes, engage in shellfish management activities with other area Tribes and the State of Washington.
Management activities undertaken by the shellfish program staff include but are not limited to developing shellfish harvest management plans for individual species and quota areas, assessing current stock abundance, harvest scheduling, issuing of harvest regulations, harvest monitoring, and participating in ongoing litigation with respect to treaty shellfish rights within US v. Washington.