About Us

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Our Purpose

The Division of Shellfish Safety (DSS) is responsible for protecting the health of the consumers of molluscan shellfish and crustacea by ensuring that shellfish growing waters are properly classified for harvesting, and that molluscan shellfish and crustacea processing facilities meet sanitation standards.

Our Mission

The mission of the Division of Shellfish Safety is to minimize the risk of disease from molluscan shellfish and crustacea products at the wholesale level by classifying shellfish waters for safe commercial and recreational harvest; by implementing a statewide regulatory inspection program for commercial processors and shippers; and by providing technical guidance and assistance to the shellfish and crustacea industries regarding technical and public health issues.

Our Vision

The vision of the Division of Shellfish Safety is to carry out its mission as effectively and efficiently as possible, and to do so in as cooperative a manner as is possible. This involves not only working with shellfish lease holders, processing plant owners and operators, the public at large, and other regulatory agencies and organizations, but also entails working closely and proactively with the Commonwealth’s educational institutions to solve emerging processing and growing area issues as they arise.


Driving Directions

Click here for driving directions to the Division of Shellfish Safety, Virginia Department of Health, Madison Building in downtown Richmond.  Parking is limited in the Capitol vicinity, but GRTC has a map of available locations and rates in the downtown and Capitol Square areas.   Other parking inquiries may be answered by viewing the Department of General Services’ web page Parking for Visitors to Capitol Square.