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Tour Aims for Total Oyster Experience

by Ellen Hardy
25 March 2008, at 12:00am

US - The Oyster Advisory Commission are set to get the full taste of oyster farming during a complete tour of Marinetics, the Choptank Oyster Company, this coming weekend.

The visit, planned for Saturday, 29 March, takes in the company's production sites and will be followed by a tour of Choptank oyster bars, to sample the products.

According to reports in the Baltimore Sun, the Marinetics story is an interesting one. The company's founders, Bob Maze and Lori Landeau, are both scientists who wanted to research oyster diseases, so to fund their work, they start a hatchery to grow some of the shellfish. That move became a lucrative business, and they're already sold 365,000 oysters.

Scientists have long been talking about how aquaculture is the future of our industry. Or, as VIMS oyster biologist Mark Luckenbach likes to say, the present of the oyster industry worldwide, if you look at Virginia and France and Ireland. The commission, in its first report, talked about how aquaculture would have to play a large role in the survival of the industry in the Chesapeake Bay.

During the past couple of years, the state has relaxed the rules for aquaculture, streamlining permits and helping entrepreneurs get a start in the business. Even so, Maryland still has only a handful of oyster businesses.

The industry faces challenges - primarily from local conservation and environmental groups.

View the Baltimore Sun story by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy