aquaculture

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The Army Corps of Engineers has proposed to ease the restrictions on oyster aquaculture.

The plan now open for public comment would make it easier for those applying for aquaculture permits and would eliminate size restrictions.

WBOC reports that some say this is a wave of the future.

But local watermen are expressing their concerns.

They fear this could open up the region for large companies to stake a claim on large portions of the Bay.

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - Virginia shellfish farmers are leading the nation in hard clam sales.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that data from the College of William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows that shellfish farmers sold about $32.3 million worth of aquacultured clams in 2015.

Virginia also came out on top in oyster sales among East Coast states. The report shows that the state's shellfish farmers sold $16 million in oysters last year.

Farming the Oyster

Nov 25, 2015
Don Rush

With the depletion of the oyster in the Chesapeake Bay a new industry has grown up in the region. It's called aquaculture where oysters are raised to produce this iconic creature. WYPR's Joel McCord took a look at the growth of this industry in the region.

Don Rush

For those engaged in commercial fishing, aquaculture and the horseshoe crab harvest in the Assateague Island National Seashore that activity could be banned.

Park superintendent Deborah Darden told the Chincoteague Town Council last week that she has been told these are activities that should be wound down.

She said that federal regulations say that if Congress does not specifically authorize such activity then it should be banned.

Darden noted that over the last half century that has not been observed.

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LOTTSBURG, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Farm Bureau says the state's oyster harvest rose 25 percent last year, passing the 500,000-bushel mark.

Officials say more than 504,000 bushels of oysters were harvested during the 2013-2014 season, up from almost 409,000 bushels in the previous season. The latest harvest is the largest since 1987.

The dockside value of that harvest increased to $22.2 million, with an estimated economic impact of more than $58 million.

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HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed an executive order that continues the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program.

McAuliffe signed the order Tuesday in Hampton.

The program is a network of state agencies and local governments that's designed to protect the natural and economic assets in Virginia's coastal regions.

The Department of Environmental Quality serves as the lead agency for the program.

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LEWES, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials are continuing to seek public input on developing regulations for shellfish aquaculture in Delaware's inland bays.

Officials planned to hold a second public workshop Wednesday evening at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control field facility on Pilottown Road in Lewes. 

The workshop is intended to gather additional public input before proposed regulations are formally initiated.

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REHOBOTH, Del. (AP) - Delaware's status as the only state on the East Coast that does not have a shellfish aquaculture industry is about to end.

A bill to be signed Wednesday by Gov. Jack Markell creates a new commercial shellfish aquaculture that officials say could provide economic benefits while improving water quality in Delaware's inland bays.

The bill authorizes the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to direct and control aquaculture activities within the Inland Bays and to set criteria for leasing sites.

Aquaculture, 123rf

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Commercial shellfish aquaculture is a multimillion dollar business in states up and down the East Coast, but not in Delaware.

Delaware is the only coastal state without a commercial shellfish aquaculture industry, but officials with the Center for the Inland Bays are exploring the possibilities of creating one.