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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


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.

As part of her training at VT AREC, Danielle Budden looks at 1 ML samples of Rotifers to determine egg percentages and overall population of the organisms. ©Julia Robins/VASG

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).

Alex Squadrito demonstrates best management practices for feeding clownfish at VT AREC. ©Julia Robins/VASG

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.

Matt Smith, NMFS-Sea Grant Fellow, tags striped bass when collecting data in 2008. ©VIMS

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

Ben Marcek. ©VASG

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.

US South Atlantic. ©Google Earth

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. […]

Cages that hold oysters peek above the water at low tide. ©Katherine Greves/VASG

Effects of Oyster Farming on Nitrogen in Chesapeake Bay

When saturated with excess nutrients, a body of water of water may suffer from reduced levels of oxygen and an unbalanced ecosystem. Could the solution to this problem be just below the water’s surface? Abby Lunstrum of University of Virginia will investigate whether oyster farming has the potential to reduce the harmful effects of nutrient […]

Post-Doc Opportunity in Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

Post-Doc Opportunity in Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office and Virginia Sea Grant announce a two-year, postgraduate fellowship. Apply by July 19, 2014.

Tagging Cownose Ray to Learn About Migration (SLIDESHOW)

Tagging Cownose Ray to Learn About Migration (SLIDESHOW)

Virginia Sea Grant affiliated extension at Virginia Institute of Marine Science is collaborating with Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Scientist to learn more about cownose ray migration.

Live blue crab were on display at Hampton Crabtown Environmental

Virginia Tech Extension Talk Crab at Hampton Crabtown Expo (SLIDESHOW)

Virginia Sea Grant extension at Virginia Tech manned a booth at the Hampton Crabtown Environmental Expo on June 7, 2014. The Expo featured booths and talks about oysters, crabs, aquaculture, sustainability, wetlands, and more. Abigail Villalba, Virginia Sea Grant extension at Virginia Tech’s Seafood Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Hampton, was there to talk […]

A panel of shrimp boat captains, moderated by Virginia Sea Grant Director Troy Hartely, present at the April 16 workshop titled “Developing Collaborative Research Capacities Among Marine Turtle Conservationists.” ©Paula Ouder/Louisiana Sea Grant

Big Challenges, Joint Solutions: Building Capacity for Collaborative Fisheries Research

“You can’t just approach a fisherman and say, ‘this is what I want to do with your gear’,” says Virginia Sea Grant Fellow Tony Nalovic. “You need to come up with ideas together.”

Martin Hall, Head of Dolphin-Tuna.

Collaborating with Fisheries to Reduce By Catch: 30 years of education

VIDEO: Martin Hall (Head of Tuna-Dolphin Program, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission) shares lessons learned in reducing accidental catch of dolphins, turtles, and other animals.

2013 Shellfish Report

VA Shellfish Aquaculture Worth $45M in 2013, Up 24% from 2012

According to annual report, Virginia’s shellfish aquaculture industry continues growing, reaching all-time sales and production highs in 2013.

Which Fish Is Better? It’s a Matter of Opinion

Which Fish Is Better? It’s a Matter of Opinion

Virginia Sea Grant research into the minds of consumers reveals to opinions about quality of aquaculture and wild-caught seafood.

Good Eats: Keeping Half-Shell Oysters Safe (Aquaculture Conference Part 3)

Good Eats: Keeping Half-Shell Oysters Safe (Aquaculture Conference Part 3)

A hot topic at the 2013 Virginia Aquaculture Conference this past November was how to maintain the safe consumption of raw oysters and better understand the science that directs industry harvest regulations.

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