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
A new “enterprise budget” for Virginia’s oyster aquaculture industry aims to help lenders and potential aquaculturists better understand what goes into a successful oyster-growing business. The oyster crop budgets consist of a set of spreadsheets that allow users to estimate costs and earnings, along with a manual to help guide users through the spreadsheets. Enterprise budgets are widely used for traditional farm crops to help farmers and their investors make business decisions.
Karen Hudson joined the Virginia Sea Grant Marine Extension Program (VASG) in February as the Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Specialist. "I had wanted this position before they even had this position,” says Hudson, who will act as the bridge between aquaculture researchers and the commercial growers, harvesters, and hatcheries. She adds, “I am really interested in aquaculture and what the industry is doing.”