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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


The Jimmy Buffett of Fish Farming

The Jimmy Buffett of Fish Farming

Mike Schwarz is farming fish to fight the shortcomings of the wild harvest of aquarium fish.

Could State-of-the-Art Management Make Shellfish Disease Problems Worse?

Could State-of-the-Art Management Make Shellfish Disease Problems Worse?

Current shellfish disease management might let new diseases slip by.

Extension Leads Conversation on Whelk Management Toward Sustainability

Extension Leads Conversation on Whelk Management Toward Sustainability

Bob Fisher hopes that changing whelk management will take stress off both populations and fisheries.

Virginia Continues to Lead in Clam and Oyster Aquaculture

Virginia Continues to Lead in Clam and Oyster Aquaculture

Virginia Institute of Marine Science survey shows $48.3 in shellfish aquaculture farm-gate value in 2015.

VIMS Extension Staff Encourage Non-Native Catfish Research Collaboration

VIMS Extension Staff Encourage Non-Native Catfish Research Collaboration

Tom Murray and Bob Fisher organized a meeting to share non-native catfish research updates.

Aquaculture Research Funding Announcement

Aquaculture Research Funding Announcement

The Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) for the NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Research Program 2016 has been published on grants.gov.

Aquaculture Conference Points to Business Planning for Industry Growth

Aquaculture Conference Points to Business Planning for Industry Growth

Speakers emphasize marketing and business forecasting to support the upswing of VA’s aquaculture industry.

Industry Experts, Researchers, and the Power of Teamwork: A recent publication

Industry Experts, Researchers, and the Power of Teamwork: A recent publication

As a graduate student in North Carolina, VASG’s post-doc fellow Amy Freitag reviewed 15 Fisheries Resource Grant projects funded by the state to study how scientists and fisheries professionals collaborated.

Only a Few Feet from Farm to Table at this Shrimp Boil Event (SLIDESHOW)

Only a Few Feet from Farm to Table at this Shrimp Boil Event (SLIDESHOW)

VT extension affiliated with Virginia Sea Grant have been cooking up support for pond-grown freshwater shrimp.

Aquaculture Workshops Earn FDA Customer Service Award

Aquaculture Workshops Earn FDA Customer Service Award

On September 9, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) presented the Honor Award for Outstanding Customer Service.

Mapping the Cultural Influence of Oysters

Mapping the Cultural Influence of Oysters

Documenting the cultural importance of oysters could be a way to understand people’s attitudes today and gauge how future regulations could may communities.

A Promising Method for Keeping Half-Shell Oysters Safe

A Promising Method for Keeping Half-Shell Oysters Safe

This summer, researchers submitted data to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), seeking to have oyster relay become an approved post-harvest process.

VT Extension Partner to Help Validate Possible Antibiotic for Marine Aquaculture

VT Extension Partner to Help Validate Possible Antibiotic for Marine Aquaculture

Currently there are no approved antibiotics to treat diseases in marine aquaculture. VT and partners at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are working on it.

Studying Oysters Subjected to Red Tides in York River (SLIDESHOW)

Studying Oysters Subjected to Red Tides in York River (SLIDESHOW)

This summer, there were some big blooms of the rust-colored algae, Alexandrium monilatum, in Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellow Sarah Pease is studying this algae and whether the toxin it produces could affect oyster or human health.

VIDEO: What is Barotrauma and What Are Sea Grant Researchers Doing About It?

VIDEO: What is Barotrauma and What Are Sea Grant Researchers Doing About It?

Learn about the phenomenon and one promising solution—and watch some neat underwater video.

New Fishing Gear May Improve Survival after Catch-and-Release

New Fishing Gear May Improve Survival after Catch-and-Release

With funding from NOAA, Virginia Sea Grant extension partnered with industry and other Sea Grant programs to develop and test new fishing gear to bring released fish below the surface and improve survival.

Catch, Release, Survive: New Study is Like Coming 'Full Circle' with Black Sea Bass

Catch, Release, Survive: New Study is Like Coming ‘Full Circle’ with Black Sea Bass

Bob Fisher has spent years working with industry to improve the survival of young black sea bass that accidentally get caught. Today, he is working on the same problem, but this time with recreational anglers.

New Initiative Helps Saltwater Aquarium Industry ‘Go Green’

New Initiative Helps Saltwater Aquarium Industry ‘Go Green’

Adding new fish to your saltwater aquarium may be getting more sustainable, thanks to researchers at the VSAREC.

Tracking Fish Mortality with a New Model and Historic Data

Tracking Fish Mortality with a New Model and Historic Data

When Todd Gedamke was a graduate student at VIMS, he and his advisor John Hoenig developed a new model to track fish mortality. Now, Hoenig and his current student are extending the model to include additional types of data.

Katharine Sucher

Staff Writer Covers Oyster Research

Katharine joined Virginia Sea Grant this June as a Staff Writer, focusing on a very relevant topic to Virginia: the history of oysters.

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