Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Marine Advisory Services (MAS)

Publication Date



VIMS Marine Resource Report No. 2010-6 || Virginia Sea Grant publication no. VSG-10-03


Virginia’s shellfish aquaculture industry continues to add significant value to the State’s seafood marketplace. While Virginia’s watermen harvest hard clams and oysters from the State’s public resources, they also grow shellfish for consumers. In recent years, following the lead of the hard clam industry, there has been a significant transition toward intensive aquaculture of native oysters. The once-extensive oyster planting has disappeared primarily as a result of endemic oyster diseases and wildlife predation of seed oysters. It has been replaced by an expanding aquaculture sector, which is based on improved culture techniques and disease-resistant oyster seed.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 of 2009 culture activities completed during the first quarter of 2010.



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