Oysters drive aquaculture in Marin

MARIN COUNTY - The value of Marin County agriculture dipped last year, but West Marin&#39;s burgeoning oyster industry enjoyed a strong year, according to a county report released Tuesday.</b> <br><br> Overall, the county&#39;s agricultural output was valued at $52.8 million in 2005, down from $54.9 million in 2004, a drop of 3.8 percent. Much of that was driven by the drop in milk prices. With 31 dairies in Marin, milk is the premier commodity in the county. <br><br> But aquaculture surged due to better survival of oysters, said Stacy Carlsen, the county&#39;s agricultural commissioner. <br><br> &quot;It&#39;s a huge element of our agriculture,&quot; Carlsen said. Many of the oysters are grown in Tomales Bay, where there are efforts to improve water quality. There are seven aquaculture operations, which contributed $3.2 million of the county&#39;s $52.8 million value of agricultural production. <br><br> <i>Source: Marinij</i>

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