Virginia Marine Resource Bulletin
Volume 42, Number 2, Summer 2010
Sales of Virginia-grown shellfish showed a mixed response to the slowing economy, according to the Virginia Shellfish Aquaculture Situation and Outlook Report for 2009, released this June. Oyster sales increased by 26 percent, but the difficulty of hatchery production has led to lower-than-expected oyster seed production and planting this year. Clam sales decreased 24 percent, but the industry seems to be retooling and investing in hatchery production, which has increased by 41 percent this year. Industry members expect oyster and clam hatchery production and plantings to increase in 2010, with oyster seed production expected to increase three-fold and Virginia clam seed production on track for continued growth. The annual shellfish survey is conducted by Virginia Sea Grant Marine Extension Leader Tom Murray and Aquaculture Specialist Mike Oesterling. This year’s study included responses from 91 Virginia clam and oyster growers, which Murray and Oesterling estimate includes 90 percent of all shellfish aquaculture operations in the state.