Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Marine Advisory Services (MAS)

Publication Date



VIMS Marine Resource Report No. 2011-11 || Virginia Sea Grant publication no. VSG-11-06


Recent growth of the shellfish aquaculture industry in Virginia has added significant value to the state’s seafood marketplace. Today, watermen continue to harvest both hard clams and oysters from the state’s public resources, albeit at diminished rates. At the same time, Virginia’s watermen-farmers are providing growing quantities of additional quality shellfish to consumers. Following the lead of the hard clam industry, there has been a significant transition to intensive aquaculture of native oysters in recent years. The once extensive oyster planting has disappeared primarily as a result of endemic oyster diseases and increasing wildlife predation of seed oysters. In its place is an emerging aquaculture sector betting on improved culture techniques and disease resistant oyster seed. While these trends are widely acknowledged, there has been no consistent reporting of production and economic trends in Virginia’s shellfish aquaculture industry. Periodic assessments are necessary to inform growers and related interests about the actual status and trends in the industry. The intent of this survey is to continue annual assessments with which to gauge growth and inputs in Virginia’s shellfish aquaculture industry. This report is based upon an industry survey completed during the first quarter of 2011.



Shellfish culture -- Virginia;Aquaculture -- Virginia;Shellfish fisheries -- Virginia -- Management;Shellfish trade -- Virginia



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