According to the 2015 Virginia Shellfish Aquaculture Situation and Outlook Report issued this month, Virginia shellfish producers sold $48.3 million in clams and oysters last year. Virginia’s hard clam sales of $32.3 million once again led the nation, while its $16 million in oyster sales is the front-runner among East Coast states.
• 2015 farm gate value for Virginia shellfish aquaculture was $48.3 million
$32.3 million Hard Clams
$16.0 million Oysters
• Virginia is 1st in the U.S. for hard clam production
• Virginia is 1st on the East Coast of the U.S. for Eastern oyster production
• Virginia shellfish aquaculture directly employs hundreds of Virginians
• Clams are the biggest contributor to Virginia’s shellfish aquaculture economic value
• Oysters are the most rapidly developing sector of Virginia’s shellfish aquaculture
• The majority of Virginia’s shellfish production comes from a system of vertically integrated private
hatcheries which are located on both the eastern and western shores
Although the number of oysters sold decreased by 11 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year—from 39.8 million to 35 million—report co-author Karen Hudson doesn’t see great significance in the drop.
Now in its 10th year, the report is conducted by the Marine Advisory Services program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences. It is available online at www.vims.edu/research/units/centerspartners/map/aquaculture/docs_aqua/MRR2016-4.pdf.