About the Industry

The shellfish industry benefits all of us. It even helps the environment!

Please contact Michael Oesterling, Executive Director for any informational needs regarding the Virginia cultured shellfish industry.

PO Box 1394
Gloucester, VA 23061

Phone: 804-815-1316
Email: mikeo@vashellfish.org.

The shellfish culture industry of Virginia provides a significant economic benefit to the Commonwealth, with an annual farm-gate value approaching $50-million and a total impact close to $100-million. With a majority of shellfish culture sales occurring outside the state, the shellfish culture industry is generating “new” money and not just circulating in-state revenues. The shellfish culture industry is proud of our contributions to the economy of the Commonwealth, but is equally proud of our environmental benefits as well. Shellfish culture is truly a “green” industry, with our crops continually helping to clean the Chesapeake Bay by removing excess nutrients and providing habitat for other species.

• 171,000,000 market-size cultured clams sold in 2012; farm gate value almost $27,000,000.
• 28,100,000 individual market-size cultured oysters sold in 2012; farm gate value $9,500,000.
• Virginia shellfish hatcheries sold 2,000,000,000 oyster larvae for extensive spat-on-shell production.
• Total 2012 shellfish culture employment: 240 full time and 181 part time positions.
• For every 1000 market-size cultured oysters harvested, 1.16 pounds of nitrogen and 0.35 pounds of phosphorus are removed from the water.

Shellfish Growers of Virginia is a trade association incorporated within Virginia. Our mission is to conduct activities necessary for the advancement, expansion and well-being of the shellfish aquaculture industry of Virginia. To accomplish our mission, we have several objectives:
1. To advocate just and proper laws and regulations that impact shellfish aquaculture.
2. To promote public education of the shellfish aquaculture industry.
3. To provide a medium of exchange of experiences and discussions of industry problems.
4. To promote and develop cooperation and friendly relationships among our members.