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Virginia Marine Resource Bulletin

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Winter 2013; Volume 45, #1

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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.”

Photos taken throughout coastal Virginia and Maryland document working waterfront infrastructure, such as this at Menchville Wharf. ©VASG

Old-Fashioned Legwork: Documenting Working Waterfronts in VA, MD

Documenting the docks, facilities, and ramps available for coastal businesses in Virginia and Maryland requires perseverance and persistence—and a car.

Working waterfront in Seaford, VA, captured during the 2012 working waterfront inventory. ©VASG

New Tool Helps Coastal Virginia Invest Wisely in Working Waterfronts

Access to the water is shrinking as historic access points become restricted, fall apart, or get sold. But before Virginia’s localities can start prioritizing and preserving working waterfronts, they need to know where these sites are.

Summer 2012; Volume 44, #2

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Terrapin Files

Terrapin Files

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.

Marine Scientist Jennifer Stanhope, VASG Graduate Research Fellow Annie Murphy, and Mark Luckenbach take water samples from the cores over the course of the day to measure the nutrient concentrations in the water. ©Margaret Pizer/VASG

Nutrient Flow in Clam Aquaculture

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.

A map of Chesapeake Bay from the wall of the Virginia Sea Grant marine policy interns' office. ©Janet Krenn/VASG

Mapping Fisheries Management

VASG director Troy Hartley brings a social scientist’s perspective to a National Research Council committee to evaluate fishery stock rebuilding efforts.

Winter 2012; Volume 44, #1

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Leading Learning: From the Classroom to Virginia Beach

Leading Learning: From the Classroom to Virginia Beach

A century from now, 18-30% of Virginia Beach’s current land area could be underwater, according to a number of studies of projected sea level rise. On a shorter timescale, many residents are already seeing increased flooding, erosion, and storm damage. These impending changes led to a partnership between a team of students and faculty from the University of Virginia and the City of Virginia Beach, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, and the nonprofit, Wetlands Watch, for a series of projects aimed at helping the city respond and adapt to sea level rise.

Graduate students Malee Jinuntuya, Billur Celebi and Meredith McPherson prepare to count submerged seagrass abundance. ©Carly Rose/VASG

Light Beneath the Surface: Requirements for Seagrass Growth

Old Dominion University professor Dick Zimmerman and his lab are developing a new model to predict where seagrass can grow in the Bay. This article features the work of communications intern Kate Schimel and photography intern Carly Rose.

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.

Winter 2011; Volume 43, #1

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Portland, Maine, waterfront.

Working Waterfronts and Waterways

Coastal populations are booming, making access to the water a national problem. Virginia Sea Grant is collaborating with several other programs to bring together stakeholders from communities around the country to share local solutions to preserving public access and working waterfronts.

living shoreline grass

Building a Living Shoreline

This fall at Deltaville Yachting Center, volunteers gathered to help the owners find a more natural way of combatting coastal erosion. See how they did it in this slideshow.

Loading fish at MAAT

Lessons in Green Fish Farming

One Eastern Shore aquaculture operation is pioneering the use of alternative energy solutions in Virginia fish farming—and hoping to set an example for other marine businesses in Virginia and beyond.

Summer 2010; Volume 42, #2

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Student in GK-12 classroom

Scientists in the Classroom

The PERFECT Program is taking marine science graduate students out of their labs and into K-12 classrooms. Last year, nine VIMS students taught in local schools and developed their science communication skills in the process. This fall, a new cohort of scientists-in-training is poised to enter the program.

Planning Underwater

Planning Underwater

More and more communities in Virginia and across the nation are using marine spatial planning to resolve conflicts over ocean and coastal resources and ensure that they are used sustainably.


Spadefish Aquaculture

VIMS and Virginia Sea Grant researchers have reared this popular sportfish through the entire life cycle in captivity, opening the way to farming the species for food, for the aquarium trade, or for stock enhancement.

Winter 2010; Volume 42, #1

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Marketer, Educator, Processor

Marketer, Educator, Processor

…and waterman. One Virginia fishing family is taking on all of these roles and more to sell their catch directly to consumers at farmers’ markets. They are also spreading the word to other watermen about the increased profits that can be gained by this strategy.

Fish oil capsules

From Discovery to Market

Virginia Tech’s Zhiyou Wen is looking for a way to capitalize on a chance connection between the biodiesel industry and the demand for omega-3 fatty acids. Algae that grow on waste glycerol from biofuel production can turn that byproduct into omega-3s for use in a variety of foods and nutritional products.

No discharge sign.

No Discharge Zones

A new state law supports the designation of No Discharge Zones in all Virginia tidal creeks. What does this change mean for Virginia boaters?

Spring 2009; Volume 41, #1

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Hurricane Isabel

Forecasting the Rising Tide

Coastal Virginia is one of the areas in the country most vulnerable to sea-level rise. With help from Sea Grant, VIMS researchers are helping Virginia communities predict and prepare for the increasingly frequent floods that climate change and rising seas will bring.

Hand washing sign

Trabajadores: The New Workforce in Virginia Seafood Processing

The new workforce in seafood processing is a growing population of seasonal migrant workers—almost all of them Hispanic. Virginia Sea Grant is helping these workers and the foods they process stay safe by providing specialized on-the-job training in Spanish.

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

A technique called spat-on-shell is promising to take Virginia’s burgeoning oyster aquaculture industry to the next level. A unique combination of public and private partners have come together to make this promise a reality.

Fall/Winter 2008; Volume 40, #1

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Red crab

From Deadliest Catch to Sustainable Catch

Can the deep-sea red crab go from “generic crabmeat” to certified sustainable delicacy? Captain Jon Williams thinks so, and he’s enlisted the help of Virginia Sea Grant extension agents for research into methods of keeping the crabs alive onshore, as well as cooking, packaging, and marketing them.

Teachers Navigate the Web

Teachers Navigate the Web

This summer, the Web site that is teachers’ preferred source for reliable marine science resources got a facelift. Virginia Sea Grant educators developed the Bridge a decade ago, and the site remains strong in the age of Google.

Teaming Up

Teaming Up

The movements of tiny fish larvae could hold the key to understanding the dynamics of fisheries in the Delaware and Chesapeake bays. A group of Sea Grant researchers from Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware are studying the oceanographic and biological forces that control when and how larval fish enter our estuaries.

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