ABC Industry Advisory Committee

The inception of the Industry Advisory Committee in Spring 2012 stems from the rapid growth of the oyster aquaculture industry itself. As the products of ABC became more essential to the industry, it became apparent that ABC’s annual Stakeholder’s Meeting was an inappropriate venue for information exchange. Specifically, our Stakeholder’s agenda is driven by an ABC agenda intended to communicate ABC’s yearly activities and future directions, and did not permit in-depth discussions of issues, receiving more detailed information, and suggesting future research directions to address industry issues. In other words, there was a need for a forum of serious dialogue occurring more frequently than yearly.

The Industry Advisory Committee was formed to address this need and settled on the following principle objectives:

Industry to ABC                                                                                                 
  • advise ABC on Virginia industry's latest needs
  • convey "on-the-ground experience" with ABC products
  • suggest future research issues from an industry perspective
ABC to Industry
  • provide a forum for collaborative projects with industry
  • dovetail long term plans for breeding research with long-term strategic goals of industry
  • facilitate communication and transparency between ABC and the Virginia shellfish industry

Our first organizational meeting took place on 12 May 2012, followed by the second in September of that same year. We decided in the first meeting of the IAC that since hatcheries are our principal “client” group, that is, because we provide brood stock to hatcheries for seed production, hatchery representation should comprise the majority of the Committee, at least for now. Our representation is as follows:

VIMS
  • Stan Allen, Director of ABC
  • Anu Frank-Lawale, Breeding Research Manager ABC
  • Mark Luckenbach, Associate Dean for Research and Advisory Service
  • Ryan Carnegie, Director, Shellfish Pathology Lab
Industry members
  • AJ Erskine*, Aquaculture Manager for Bevans Oyster Company and Cowart Seafood
  • Mike Congrove*, Manager Oyster Seed Holdings
  • John Vigliotta*, Owner Mobjack Bay Seafood
  • Tim Rapine*, General Manager of Ballard Fish and Oyster Company
  • Tom Gallivan, Owner/ Operator Shooting Point Oyster Company
  • Andy Drewer, Owner Shore Seafood
Industry representatives
  • Mike Oesterling, Executive Director, Shellfish Growers of Virginia
  • Kim Huskey, Executive Director, Virginia Seafood Council

* – represent hatchery interests

Geographically, the industry members represent firms from a tributary of the Potomac in northern Virginia to the border of Maryland on the Eastern Shore.

Meetings of IAC occur approximately quarterly, alternatively meeting at the Gloucester Point and Wachapreague campuses of VIMS. Meetings are closed, members only. Meeting minutes will be posted soon after each meeting and are available on this site, with the first postings coming from our third meeting on 22 March 2013.