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Category for Seafood Products & Safety


What We Do


Virginia Sea Grant supports safe and sustainable seafood processing and product development through applied research and extension work. Extension staff at VIMS and Virginia Tech work with the seafood industry to provide marketing and product development assistance, seafood safety information and worker safety training, and equipment calibration and quality assurance.

Extension projects at VIMS include:

Extension projects at Virginia Tech's Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center (VSAREC) include:


Current research and extension work is featured below


©Stephanie Chavez/VASG

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.

Chef John Maxwell, a renowned chef and culinary educator, gives a red crab cooking demonstration. ©Julia Robins/VASG

2015 Chefs’ Seafood Symposium (SLIDESHOW)

On March 10, 2015, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) hosted the 23rd Chefs’ Seafood Symposium.

Teams from the Colonial Williamsburg Apprenticeship Program cook red crab in creative ways to try to win the Virginia Seafood Cooking Competition. ©Julia Robins/VASG

VIMS Hosts 23rd Annual Chefs’ Seafood Symposium

On March 10, 2015, Virginia Institute of Marine Science hosted the 23rd Chefs’ Seafood Symposium, highlighting the deep sea red crab.

©Stephanie Chavez/VASG

A Surprising Possible Advantage of Oyster Disease Tolerance

In a VIMS study, the more an oyster was infected with the disease Perkinsus marinus, the less likely it was to harbor vibrios, leading scientists to take a closer look at breeding for disease tolerance.

©Jenn Armstrong/VASG

Virginia Seafood, Validated and Ready for Market (SLIDESHOW)

Bob Lane, VT Seafood Engineer and Extension Specialist affiliated with VASG, regularly validates local seafood companies’ pasteurization processes.

Mike Jahncke discusses HACCP guidelines. ©Jenn Armstrong/VASG

HACCP Training Keeps Seafood Safe

Following a HACCP plan not only makes products safe, but economically viable. After all, if a product fails to meet regulatory standards, it can’t go to market.

©Jenn Armstrong/VASG

Virginia Seafood, Validated and Ready for Market

Since its inception, VASG Extension at Virginia Tech has helped Virginia seafood companies produce safe products by validating their pasteurization processes.

Sunburst Trout Farm's new Trout Burger. ©Jean Dent

With the Help of a Sea Grant Workshop, Burgers Go Fishing

Last fall, Dan Kauffman, Virginia Tech extension staff affiliated with Virginia Sea Grant (VASG), held a VASG-funded workshop to help seafood processors learn more about how they could enter the value-added market.

Abigail Villalba (Virginia Sea Grant extension at VT) presents at seafood HACCP training in Hampton, VA, on April 4, 2013. ©Janet Krenn/VASG

243 Mid-Atlantic Seafood Processors Get Food Safety Training in 2013

Virginia Sea Grant extension at Virginia Tech offers Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Good Management Practices (GMP) training for seafood processors. In 2013, 130 members of the seafood processing community received HACCP training. 43 English-speaking and 70 Spanish-speaking received GMP training for a total of 113 people. HACCP training focuses on FDA […]

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.

VA Shellfish farming leads in clam production nation wide. ©Stephanie Chavez/VASG

Shellfish Farming Adds $81M to the Commonwealth

Report of shellfish farming activity finds that oyster and clam farming in VA contributes $81.2 million to the state and added employment of 925 in 2012.

Clams. ©Kathryn Greves/VASG

Shellfish Aquaculture Continues Growth

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

Apprentices Mike Ellis and Sean Gonzalez face-off in a cooking competition at the 2013 Chef Seafood Symposium. ©Samantha Cottingham/VASG

Chefs Seafood Symposium: Science Behind the Seafood

The Chefs 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.

Global Aquaculture Starts at Home

Global Aquaculture Starts at Home

Talk to any of the five interns at Virginia Tech’s Virginia 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.”

Yangyang Zhou. ©Kathryn Greves/VASG

Researching What Williamsburg Residents Want in a CSF

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. ©Kathryn Greves/VASG

The Nuts and Bolts Behind Providing Fresh Seafood to Williamsburg

Katie Thatcher is researching organizational, legal, and sustainability framework for the ideal community supported fishery the Williamsburg area.

A group of workers ride a barge to their clam farm in Cherrystone Inlet on Virginia's Eastern Shore. ©Margaret Pizer/VASG

Shellfish Aquaculture a Bright Spot in Weak Economy

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.

A youngster tries his first oyster. ©Kim Warner/VASG

Tasting the Bay

Even if you’ve tried raw oysters, you may have never really tasted one. Like wine, oysters grown in different areas taste different because they take on the characteristics of their environment. Simply slurping your oysters means you miss these delicate flavors.

At the second annual Halfshell Oyster Tasting event in November, the Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association (TOGA) helped more than 200 people learn to really taste oysters. Attendees put their taste buds to the test trying to differentiate oysters from six growers who raise oysters at different places along the Chesapeake Bay. Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) and our extension partners were proud cosponsors of this fun event.

A workshop attendee smells an oyster before tasting it. ©Margaret Pizer/VASG

Oyster Growers Learn How to Stand Out

The new buzzword in oyster marketing is “differentiation” as Virginia Sea Grant Business and Marketing Specialist Dan Kauffman explained at the recent Differentiated Halfshell Marketing Workshop sponsored by Virginia Sea Grant, Virginia Tech, Virginia Marine Products Board, and Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Making Aquaculture Sustainable in Virginia and Beyond

Making Aquaculture Sustainable in Virginia and Beyond

Researchers, watermen, business owners and other aquaculture enthusiasts gathered in Williambsurg for the Virginia Aquaculture Conference.

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