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
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.
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.