Virginia Sea Grant funded researchers develop a strategy for breeding oysters with improved disease resistance and other profitable characteristics for Virginia’s oyster aquaculture industry.
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:
- Sustainable Commercial Fisheries
- Virginia Game Fish Tagging Program
- Fisheries Resource Grant Program
- Aquaculture Program at VIMS Marine Advisory Services
- Virginia Aquaculture Conference
- Aquaculture Program at Virginia Tech's Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center (VSAREC)
Current research and extension work is featured below
Bringing oysters and industry back after almost a century of disease decimated wild populations was part science, part serendipity.
VASG-funded researchers want to improve the bottom line for Virginia’s oyster growers by selectively breeding oysters with more profitable traits.
As aquaculture efforts expand in Virginia and Maryland, the potential for use conflicts between aquaculture and other uses of the Bay is also growing. The goal of this project is to update a model that maps preferred areas for aquaculture development. In addition, a map viewer will be developed to allows managers to monitor and [...]
Virginia’s shellfish growers sold 28.1 million oysters and 171 million clams in 2012, according to an annual survey of shellfish aquaculture operations in the state. Those numbers represent a 21 percent increase in oyster sales, while clam sales have remained fairly stable over the past few years.
The “Virginia Shellfish Aquaculture Situation and Outlook Report” has been produced annually by
The Chef Seafood Symposium is a Virginia Sea Grant annual event that invites professional, apprentice, and student chefs for a day of learning about seafood and the science behind the products chefs serve.
Three oyster experts took a road trip into the mind of a seafood buyer, visiting high-end restaurants to find out what makes a half-shell oyster worth purchasing. The Virginia Sea Grant-funded research team want to breed a better, more profitable oyster for Virginia’s aquaculture industry.
Talk to any of the five interns at Virginia Tech’s Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center (VSAREC) in the days leading up to the cobia larval run, and the word that you’ll hear is intense. Or as Hannah Mark, a second-year student at Dalhousie University in Canada, puts it: “I’m equal parts excited and terrified.”
A new “enterprise budget” for Virginia’s oyster aquaculture industry aims to help lenders and potential aquaculturists better understand what goes into a successful oyster-growing business. The oyster crop budgets consist of a set of spreadsheets that allow users to estimate costs and earnings, along with a manual to help guide users through the spreadsheets. Enterprise budgets are widely used for traditional farm crops to help farmers and their investors make business decisions.
You’ve heard of UFOs, but what about HABs? A new publication aims to remove some of the mystery surrounding harmful algal blooms, especially when it comes to their effects on the shellfish industry. VIMS Professor Kim Reece and VIMS/VASG Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Specialist Karen Hudson prepared the short HAB Primer to help shellfish growers [...]
Viruses tend to fly—or float—under the radar when it comes to most water quality standards, but Wendi Quidort’s research may be changing that soon. The Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellow, who is working towards her Ph.D. at Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), has been making some interesting discoveries about what viruses released from wastewater treatment plants might be doing in Virginia’s creeks and estuaries.
These cobia and spadefish hatched to help scientists refine the larvae production process and determine nutrition needs. As tagged fish, they will have one last opportunity to contribute to science as they live out their lives in the wild.
Virginia Sea Grant interns Katie Thatcher and Yangyang Zhou are finishing up internships researching the consumer andorganizational aspects of community supported fisheries (CSF). Their projects follow up on a feasibility study started by Virginia Sea Grant and the Mason School of Business at William & Mary, and funded by William & Mary’s Green Fees Program. [...]
As a Virginia Sea Grant marketing intern, Yangyang is hitting the streets to determine whether a community-supported fishery (CSF) would be viable in Williamsburg.
Katie Thatcher is researching organizational, legal, and sustainability framework for the ideal community supported fishery the Williamsburg area.
Diamondback terrapins face a variety of threats—from coastal development to crab fishing. A team of VASG-funded researchers are mapping terrapin habitat and threats to aid in the development of effective management strategies.
Virginia’s hard clam industry produces between $20 and $30 million of clams annually, and individual clam farms cover areas ranging from 10’s to 100’s of acres. A Virginia Sea Grant-funded research team led by VIMS faculty members Iris Anderson, Mark Luckenbach, and Mark Brush is investigating the effects of these large-scale aquaculture operations on the flow of nutrients in Bay ecosystems. The results will help managers and clam farmers make sure the industry can function sustainably for years to come.
In April of 2004, Ken Neill tagged an 11.5 inch tautog off Cape Henry. Neill didn’t think about that fish again for a long time, until it was recaptured on January 5, 2012 by Joe Stagnato, close to the location where it was tagged.
Virginia’s oyster aquaculture industry is growing steadily despite the struggling economy and some setbacks in hatchery production, according to a report from Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Virginia Sea Grant.
Waterman George Trice has been collaborating with scientists for eight years to collect data on Atlantic sturgeon.