Oysters were historically a keystone species in Chesapeake Bay, filtering water and providing habitat for numerous Bay organisms through their reefs. Today they stand at 1% of their original population. Oyster research at VIMS focuses on restoration of the native oyster Crassostrea virginica. VIMS also played a key role in evaluating the potential use of the non-native Asian oyster C. ariakensis.
VIMS trains interns in oyster aquaculture (October 2013)
Program graduates fifth straight year-class in support of growing industry.
VIMS welcomes oyster aquaculture interns (May 2013)
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science recently welcomed the fifth group of interns to its six-month Oyster Aquaculture Training Program (OAT).
Study highlights under-appreciated benefit of oyster restoration (May 2013)
Oyster reefs shown to buffer acidic inputs to Chesapeake Bay
Study shows restored oyster reef worth its weight in nutrients (May 2013)
A study led by VIMS researcher Lisa Kellogg shows that a restored oyster reef can remove up to 10 times more nitrogen from Chesapeake Bay waters than an unrestored area nearby, providing additional evidence that reef restoration can contribute to efforts to improve water quality in the nation’s largest estuary.
Gloucester resident receives grand prize in VIMS artwork contest (April 2013)
Lauren Gregg, a Gloucester local and graduate of the Oyster Aquaculture Training program at VIMS, has been chosen as the Grand Prize winner in VIMS’ annual Marine Science Day artwork contest.
VIMS, Gloucester Arts on Main partner to display oyster artwork (March 2013)
The theme for this year's Marine Science Day is oysters, and VIMS has partnered with Gloucester Arts on Main to publically showcase the talents of local artists who submitted contest entries.
Interns gain hands-on experience in oyster aquaculture (September 2012)
VIMS recently celebrated the graduation of four emerging professionals who will be joining the ranks of Chesapeake Bay’s rapidly growing oyster aquaculture industry.
Partnership nurtures oyster gardens—and gardeners (August 2012)
A gathering of “Master Oyster Gardeners” at VIMS is the latest chapter in a fruitful partnership between VIMS scientists and members of the Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association, or TOGA.
Shellfish aquaculture a bright spot in weak economy (June 2012)
Virginia’s oyster aquaculture industry is growing steadily despite the struggling economy and some setbacks in hatchery production, according to a report from the VIMS and Virginia Sea Grant.
Virginia's oyster industry taking proactive steps to stay on top (November 2011)
Despite the stagnant economy, Virginia’s oyster aquaculture industry is on an upward track, and oyster hatcheries plan to keep that trend positive.
Oyster aquaculture on upswing in Virginia (July 2011)
Virginia’s oyster aquaculture industry is poised to begin its biggest growth spurt ever, according to a report from VIMS and Virginia Sea Grant.
Disease-resistant oysters call for shift in Bay restoration strategies (June 2011)
Development of disease resistance among Chesapeake Bay oysters calls for a shift in oyster-restoration strategies within the Bay and its tributaries.
Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association endows fellowship at VIMS (June 2011)
The Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association (TOGA) has provided VIMS with an initial gift of $27,000 to establish the TOGA Fellowship Endowment.
Public-private partnership aids oyster industry (March 2011)
A joint study by local oyster growers and researchers at VIMS shows that moving farmed oysters into saltier waters just prior to harvest nearly eliminates the presence of a bacterium that can sicken humans.
Loss of oyster reefs a global problem, but one with solutions (February 2011)
A study by an international team including VIMS professor Mark Luckenbach shows that the decline of oyster reefs is not just a local problem.
Report shows $11M direct loss to VA oyster industry from Gulf spill (August 2010)
Report estimates total, "water-to-table" losses of $30.1 million as imports of Gulf oysters dry up.
Va. Aquaculture Survey shows growth in oysters, shift in clams (July 2010)
Sales of Virginian-grown shellfish show mixed response to the slowing economy. Plantings and projections of Virginia's oysters and clams were also mixed in 2009.
Senator Warner visits VIMS to discuss oyster restoration (July 2010)
Visit coincides with a growing recognition that increased disease resistance, a local surge in oyster aquaculture, and recently announced federal restoration goals promise new opportunities for restoring Bay oysters.
VIMS oyster study confirms early Jamestown drought (June 2010)
A VIMS study of 400-year-old oyster shells from the Jamestown settlement confirms that a harsh drought plagued the early years of the colony and made the James River much saltier than today.
VIMS a partner in Coastal America Award (January 2010)
The Lynnhaven River Oyster Restoration Team is honored for innovative efforts to restore the river's oyster population.
Long-term study shows oysters developing disease resistance (December 2009)
VIMS' 50-year monitoring program shows that Chesapeake Bay oysters are developing resistance to the diseases that have helped devastate their population.
NOAA's Aquaculture Director to keynote Aquaculture Conference (October 2009)
Aquaculture experts will present at this year's Virginia Aquaculture Conference on November 13 and 14 in Williamsburg, VA.
Study shows taller reefs in large sanctuaries are key to oyster restoration (July 2009)
A 5-year study of oyster-restoration techniques in Chesapeake Bay shows that taller reefs in an extensive network of large sanctuaries is critical for re-establishing self-sustaining populations of native oysters.
VIMS to help restore marine life to seaside bays (July 2009)
VIMS researchers will collaborate with public and private partners on a new effort to restore oysters, seagrass, and bay scallops to Virginia's seaside bays.
Survey reflects rapid expansion of Virginia’s oyster aquaculture (June 2009)
A survey of Virginia’s oyster farmers shows a dramatic increase in the number of seed and larvae sold between 2007 and 2008.
VIMS trains interns in oyster aquaculture (June 2009)
VIMS begins a new program to train the skilled workers needed to advance Chesapeake Bay’s rapidly growing oyster-farming industry.
VIMS releases manual to help oyster growers (February 2009)
Booklet outlines methods for “spat-on-shell” oyster culture.
Survey shows growth in VA clam, oyster aquaculture (June 2008)
A survey by researchers with the Sea Grant program at VIMS shows that shellfish farmers planted more than half a billion clams and 18 million oysters in Virginia waters last year.
Jamestown studies (May 2007)
In this National Geographic video, Dr. Juli Harding discusses her use of oyster shells to shed light on environmental conditions during the early years of the Jamestown Settlement.
VIMS updates Fishing Report (Dec 2005)
VIMS researchers update their seminal 1997 study of how commercial and recreational fishing contribute to Virginia's economy.
VIMS helps restore Wicomico oysters (March 2005)
A disease-tolerant oyster strain developed at VIMS underpins the latest and largest effort to restore native oysters to Chesapeake Bay.
- ABC helps breeds a new oyster Industry
- Landmark oyster study continues to provide data
- Collaborative project gets to the bottom of oyster questions
- Dye helps predict potential dispersal of non-native oyster larvae
- VIMS finds pathogen in non-native oyster
- ABC continues oyster work with Academy validation
- VIMS Helps Local Students Aid Oyster Restoration Effort
- VIMS urges caution in commercial release of non-native oysters
- Oyster Reef Restoration: How Should Sanctuary Reefs Look?
- Many Questions, Many Perspectives on Non-Native Oysters
- A Variety of Suspension Feeders May Be Assisting Oysters in Filtering Bay Water
- VIMS Statement on the Use of Crassostrea ariakensis in Chesapeake Bay
- Aquaculture of Triploid Crassostrea ariakensis in Chesapeake Bay
- Standing Policy for VIMS Non-Native Oyster Research in Virginia
- A Comparative Field Study of Crassostrea ariakensis and Crassostrea virginica in Relation to Salinity in Virginia
- A Comparative Field Study of Crassostrea gigas and Crassostrea virginica in Relation to Salinity in Virginia
Native Oysters and Restoration
- An Introduction to Culturing Oysters in Virginia
- Oyster Reef Habitat Restoration: A synopsis and synthesis of approaches (Order print copy here)
- Oyster Diseases of the Chesapeake Bay
- The status of Virginia's public oyster resource
2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000
- Trophic studies on constructed "restored" oyster reefs. Annual report to the Chesapeake Bay Program
1998 | 1997
- Status of the major oyster diseases in Virginia
2009 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002
- Molecular methods for the detection of Quahog Parasite Unknown (QPX). Marine Resource Report No. 2001-10.
- QPX susceptibility in hard clams varies with geographic origin of brood stock.
- Aquaculture Genetics and Breeding Technology Center (ABC)
- Aquaculture Molecular Genetics Laboratory
- Aquatic Animal Health
- Eastern Shore Laboratory (ESL)
- Fish & Shellfish Immunity
- Fish & Shellfish Nutrition
- Kauffman Aquaculture Center (KAC)
- Molluscan Ecology Program
- NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office in Virginia (NCBO)
- OIE Reference Laboratory
- Oyster Pathobiology
- Shellfish Pathology Laboratory
- Kirkley JE. 1997. Virginia's Commercial Fishing Industry : Its Economic Performance and Contributions. Report 337. 77 pp.
- Barber BJ, and R Mann. 1991. Estimation of Standing Stock of Oysters in the James River, Virginia, Using Commercial Fishing Records. Report 310. pp.
- Hargis WJ, and DS Haven. 1988. The Imperilled Oyster Industry of Virginia : A Critical Analysis with Recommendations for Restoration. Report 290. 130 pp.
- Johnson HB, JG Loesch, WH Kriete, JG Travelstead, EJ Foell, and MA Hennigar. 1981. Biology and Management of Mid-Atlantic Anadromous Fishes under Extended Jurisdiction. Report 236. 191, xi, 201 pp.
- Zaborski J, and DS Haven. 1980. Oyster Mortalities in the Upper Rappahannock River and in the Virginia Tributaries of the Lower Potomac : Their Association with High River Discharge and Low Salinity. Report 241. pp.
- Zaborski J. 1979. A Description of the Commercial Marine Fisheries of Virginia. Report 233. pp.
- Merriner JV, and JW Smith. 1979. A Report to the Oyster Industry of Virginia on the Biology and Management of the Cownose Ray (Rhinoptera bonasus, Mitchill) in Lower Chesapeake Bay. Report 216. pp.
- Haven DS, WJ Hargis, and PC Kendall. 1978. The Oyster Industry of Virginia : Its Status, Problems and Promise. Report 168. 149 pp.
- Burrell VG, M Castagna, and RK Dias. 1972. A Study of the Commercial and Recreational Fisheries of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Accomack and Northampton Counties : History Review and Recommendations for Improvements. Report 20. pp.
- Andrews JD. 1955. Reports on Freshwater Kill of Oysters in Rappahannock River Caused by Hurricanes Connie and Diana. Report 1. 78 pp.
- Mann, R, Harding, JM, Southworth, MJ. 2009. Reconstructing pre-colonial oyster demographics in Chesapeake Bay, USA. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. In press.
- Mann, R, Southworth, MJ, Harding, JM, Wesson, JA. 2009. Population studies of the native oyster, Crassostrea virginica, (Gmelin, 1791) in the James River, Virginia, USA. Journal of Shellfish Research. 28(2): 193-220.
- Harding, JM, Mann, R, Southworth, MJ. 2008. Shell length-at-age relationships in James River, Virginia oysters (Crassostrea virginica) collected four centuries apart. Journal of Shellfish Research. 27(5): 1109-1116
- Moss, J. A., and coauthors. 2007. Pathogens in Crassostrea ariakensis and other Asian oyster species: implications for non-native oyster introduction to Chesapeake Bay. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 77(3):207-223.
- Mann, R., and E. N. Powell. 2007. Why oyster restoration goals in the Chesapeake Bay are not and probably cannot be achieved. Journal of Shellfish Research:905–917.
- Moss, J. A., E. M. Burreson, and K. S. Reece. 2006. Advanced Perkinsus marinus infections in Crassostrea ariakensis maintained under laboratory conditions. Journal of Shellfish Research 25(1):65-72.
- Carlsson, J., C. L. Morrison, and K. S. Reece. 2006. Wild and aquaculture populations of the eastern oyster compared using microsatellites. Journal of Heredity 97(6):595-598.
- Encomio, V. G., S. M. Stickler, S. K. Allen, and F. L. Chu. 2005. Performance of "natural dermo-resistant" oyster stocks-survival, disease, growth, condition and energy reserves. Journal of Shellfish Research 24(1):143-155.
- Liu, Z. J., and J. F. Cordes. 2004. DNA marker technologies and their applications in aquaculture genetics. Aquaculture 242(1-4):735-736.
- Carnegie, R. B., and N. Cochennec-Laureau. 2004. Microcell parasites of oysters: Recent insights and future trends. Aquatic Living Resources 17(4):519-528.
- Burreson, E. M., N. A. Stokes, R. B. Carnegie, and M. J. Bishop. 2004. Bonamia sp (Haplosporidia) found in nonnative oysters Crassostrea ariakensis in Bogue Sound, North Carolina. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 16(1):1-9.
- Mann, R and Evans, D. 2004. Site selection for oyster habitat rehabilitation in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay: A commentary. Journal of Shellfish Research. 23(1): 41-49.
- Southworth, MJ and Mann, R. 2004. Decadal scale changes in seasonal patterns of oyster recruitment in the Virginia subestuaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Journal of Shellfish Research. 23(2): 391-402.
- Frankic, A., and C. Hershner. 2003. Sustainable aquaculture: developing the promise of aquaculture. Aquaculture International 11(6):517-530.
- Carnegie, R. B., B. J. Barber, and D. L. Distel. 2003. Detection of the oyster parasite Bonamia ostreae by fluorescent in situ hybridization. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 55(3):247-252.
- Harding, JM and Mann, R. 2003. Influence of habitat on diet and distribution of striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in a temperate estuary. Bulletin of Marine Science. 72(3): 841-851.
- Kator, H., and M. Rhodes. 2001. Elimination of fecal coliforms and F-specific RNA coliphage from oysters (Crassostrea virginica) relaid in floating containers. Journal of Food Protection 64(6):796-801.
- Calvo, G. W., M. W. Luckenbach, S. K. Allen, and E. M. Burreson. 2001. A comparative field study of Crassostrea ariakensis (Fujita 1913) and Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin 1791) in relation to salinity in Virginia. Journal of Shellfish Research 20(1):221-229.
- Harding, JM and Mann, R. 2001a. Oyster reefs as fish habitat: Opportunistic use of restored reefs by transient fishes. Journal of Shellfish Research. 20(3):951-959.
- Harding, JM and Mann, R. 2001b. Diet and habitat use by bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix, in a Chesapeake Bay estuary. Env. Biol. Fishes. 60:401-409.
- Burreson, E. M., N. A. Stokes, and C. S. Friedman. 2000. Increased virulence in an introduced pathogen: Haplosporidium nelsoni (MSX) in the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 12(1):1-8.
- Harding, JM and Mann, R. 1999. Fish species richness in relation to restored oyster reefs, Piankatank River, Virginia. Bulletin of Marine Science 65(1): 289-300.
- Burreson, E. M., R. S. Alvarez, V. V. Martinez, and L. A. Macedo. 1994. Perkinsus marinus (Apicomplexa) as a Potential Source of Oyster Crassostrea virginica Mortality in Coastal Lagoons of Tabasco, Mexico. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 20(1):77-82.
- Shpigel, M., and R. A. Blaylock. 1991. The Pacific Oyster, Crassostrea gigas, as a biological filter for a marine fish aquaculture pond. Aquaculture 92(2-3):187-197.
- Moss, J. A. 2007. Characterization of exotic pathogens associated with the suminoe oyster, Crassostrea ariakensis. Ph.D. Dissertation. The College of William and Mary, Gloucester Pt. VA.
- Stickler, S. M. 2004. Natural dermo resistance and related defense mechanisms in eastern oysters, Crassostrea virginica, with implications for restoration. Ph.D. Dissertation. The College of William and Mary, Gloucester Pt. VA.
- Nestlerode, J. A. 2004. Evaluating restored oyster reefs in Chesapeake Bay: How habitat structure influences ecological function. Ph.D. Dissertation. The College of William and Mary, Gloucester Pt. VA.
- Encomio, V. G. 2004. A study of the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica: (1) Dermo tolerance, survival, growth, condition and Hsp70 expression in different geographic stocks; (2) Heat tolerance and effects of sublethal heat shock on survival and Hsp70 expression of infected and uninfected oysters. Ph.D. Dissertation. The College of William and Mary, Gloucester Pt. VA.
- Virginia Marine Resources Commission
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
- American Fisheries Society (AFS)
- North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries
- Atlantic Coast Marine Fisheries Agencies