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Aquaculture rules intended to blunt critics' complaints

US - Conflicts between the people who work the waters and those who are drawn to the shore have led to rules to govern the growing aquaculture seafood industry.

Aquaculture is the practice of growing oysters or clams in cages, racks or trays placed in rivers and creeks. Demand for their products has grown, resulting in disputes between growers and boat and property owners.

Last week, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission approved criteria that will guide where shellfish growers can place the protective enclosures. First stop will be Steven Bowman -- the VMRC commissioner -- who will have say over permits.

The commission also put in place a system to license aquaculturists and have them report their harvests to measure the industry's growing economic impact in Virginia.