Virginia regulators give approval to three new oyster farms

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
10 May 2006, at 1:00am

VIRGINIA - Virginia regulators have given the go-ahead to three major Chesapeake Bay oyster projects that could raise for harvest millions of native oysters each year. In voting unanimously for the private projects last month, members of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission said they believe that aquaculture will play a vital role in reviving failing oyster stocks in the bay as well as in aiding an anxious seafood industry. "It clearly is where we need to go, and where the industry already is going," commission member J. Carter Fox said. In addition to their economic benefits, the farmed oysters also help environmentally because they are natural filters for the excessive nutrients and algae that choke the bay's ecosystem. The marine commission agreed to issue state permits to three companies that want to develop new farms in the Coan and Yeocomico rivers on the Northern Neck peninsula and in the Ware River in Gloucester County. The companies will finance all of the work and pay the state a royalty of more than $4,000 a year. Source: Checkbiotech