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Category for Fisheries & Aquaculture


What We Do


Virginia Sea Grant aims to maintain sustainable and thriving commercial and recreational fisheries and aquaculture production in Virginia through cutting edge research and "feet on the boat" extension work. Extension staff at VIMS and Virginia Tech specialize in fishing gear design, recreational fisheries, and finfish and shellfish aquaculture.

Extension projects include:


Current research and extension work is featured below


Learning How Oysters Do, and Don't, Reduce Nitrogen

Learning How Oysters Do, and Don’t, Reduce Nitrogen

A Virginia Sea Grant graduate research fellow is researching whether aquaculture can help remove excess nitrogen from the Bay through denitrification.

Charlottesville Joins In On Oyster Shell Recycling

Charlottesville Joins In On Oyster Shell Recycling

The Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program, which recycles shell from local businesses to restoration sites in the Bay, has expanded to Charlottesville.

VA Launches Watermen's Heritage Tour Program (SLIDESHOW)

VA Launches Watermen’s Heritage Tour Program (SLIDESHOW)

On April 24, 2015, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula watermen kicked off the Virginia Watermen’s Heritage Tour Program.

Developing a Sustainable Red Crab Industry for Virginia

Developing a Sustainable Red Crab Industry for Virginia

Industry and academic leaders in the mid-Atlantic are working together to develop a market for sustainable deep-sea red crab.

Tracking Oyster Restoration with Genetic Tests

Tracking Oyster Restoration with Genetic Tests

A Virginia Institute of Marine Science graduate student is using genetic markers to assess oyster restoration in the Chesapeake Bay.

Clams. ©Kathryn Greaves/VASG

$55.9M Farm Gate Value for VA Shellfish Aquaculture in 2014—An All-Time High

For years Virginia has been the nationwide leader in growing hard clams, but in 2014 industry reached an all-time high of 243 million sold.

New Efforts to Advance Biosecurity for East Coast Shellfish

New Efforts to Advance Biosecurity for East Coast Shellfish

Shellfish industry, regulators, and scientists have been collaborating to improve biosecurity in interstate transfers along the East Coast.

Red Algae May Help Blue Crabs as Seagrass Declines

Red Algae May Help Blue Crabs as Seagrass Declines

Understanding how red algae habitats affect juvenile blue crab survival could make it easier to predict adult populations.

Aquaculture Ambassadors a Big Hit at Hampton Bay Days (SLIDESHOW)

Aquaculture Ambassadors a Big Hit at Hampton Bay Days (SLIDESHOW)

The Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Ambassadors spoke about the sustainability of Chesapeake Bay seafood at the 32nd annual Hampton Bay Days.

New Method May Improve Stingray Handling in Research

New Method May Improve Stingray Handling in Research

Bob Fisher may have discovered a more natural way to temporarily put stingrays to sleep, which could change how researchers handle rays.

Amy Freitag. ©VASG

VASG Welcomes Ecosystem-Based Management Fellow

This week, Amy Freitag joins VASG as a postgraduate fellow studying science behind ecosystem-based management.

what is aquaculture

What Is Aquaculture? Hampton University Students Team with Virginia Tech to Give Answers

Four Hampton University students became ambassadors this summer—aquaculture ambassadors, that is. The students are part of the Virginia Sea Grant-funded Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Ambassadors (SFAA) program, a new collaboration between Hampton University (HU) and Virginia Tech (VT).

aquaculture workshop

Aquaculture Workshop Trains Virginia Businesses

Americans are hungry for seafood, but most of that seafood is coming from overseas. The US seafood trade deficit has grown to more than $11.2 billion annually, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. One way to reduce the gap could be through US aquaculture.

Taking Disease Into Account in Managing Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass

Taking Disease Into Account in Managing Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass

When a mathematical model said that catch limits for Chesapeake Bay striped bass could be increased, managers knew something was fishy.

Do Not Enter: Protecting Oyster Crops from Cownose Rays

Do Not Enter: Protecting Oyster Crops from Cownose Rays

VASG works with researchers to find ways to keep cownose ray out of commercial oyster beds.

Pop Dy Fellow Models Fish Populations in US South Atlantic

Pop Dy Fellow Models Fish Populations in US South Atlantic

Over the next three years Mark will use quantitative modeling to investigate the effects of external influences—including human, food web, and environmental factors—on dozens

Pop Dy Fellow Studies Spot, Atlantic Croaker

Pop Dy Fellow Studies Spot, Atlantic Croaker

Over the next three years, Ben will investigate the effects that seasonal oxygen deficiencies and rising water temperatures have on spot and Atlantic croaker.

Environmental Factors on Fish, White Shrimp Stock Assessment

Environmental Factors on Fish, White Shrimp Stock Assessment

There’s still a lot to learn about all the factors that influence the abundance and distribution of fish stocks. Mark Stratton of Virginia Institute of Marine Science will use quantitative modeling to investigate the effects of human, food web, and environmental factors on dozens of near shore fish populations in the US South Atlantic. He […]

Looking at How Changing Habitat Affects Spot, Atlantic Croaker

Looking at How Changing Habitat Affects Spot, Atlantic Croaker

  Some researchers suspect that seasonal oxygen deficiencies and rising water temperatures are causing fish in the Chesapeake Bay to move to suboptimal habitats. These habitats may be contributing to increased mortality rates and decreased population growth in fish species. Ben Marcek of Virginia Institute of Marine Science will use data on water temperature, oxygen […]

If Invasive Seagrass Takes Over, Will Blue Crab Know the Difference?

If Invasive Seagrass Takes Over, Will Blue Crab Know the Difference?

Defining the effects of habitat availability on population dynamics may be a critical part of creating sustainable fishing policies. Megan Wood of Virginia Institute of Marine Science will develop a model to better understand blue crab distribution patterns and will study the effects of Gracilaria vemiculophylla, an exotic red alga, in blue crab nursery habitats. […]

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