National Science Foundation Partnership
Science Center for Marine Fisheries (SCeMFiS): Attaining sustainable fish stocks and sustainable fishing industries requires: (a) the assessment process that determines the status of the stock and (b) the regulatory process that provides the vehicle by which the fishery is managed to optimize stock status while supporting a robust industry. SCeMFiS supports an academic research program encompassing both components of the management process. SCeMFiS’ capabilities encompass the range of oceanographic, fisheries, and marine biological disciplines essential for addressing the data resource and analytical challenges faced by modern-day fisheries management.
Collaborative VIMS Programs
Aquaculture and Breeding: The focus of ABC's efforts is to provide genetically superior brood stock to industry. Initial efforts emphasized development of disease-tolerant strains of C. virginica, whose population in Chesapeake Bay has been devastated by the diseases MSX and Dermo. Current efforts emphasize improvement of other production traits, such as growth and meat yield. Knowledge of oyster genetics also sheds light on the genetics of other shellfish. Principle Investigator - Dr. Standish K. Allen, Jr.
Marine & Aquaculture Molecular Genetics: The main objective of this program is molecular genetic studies of aquaculture species and aquatic pathogens. Emphasis is on oyster genomics, molecular phylogenetics, population genetics, and the development of molecular diagnostics for viral, bacterial, and protozoan disease agents. Principal investigator: Dr. Kimberly Reece
Shellfish Pathology: The VIMS Shellfish Pathology Laboratory studies the diseases of commercially important molluscs like oysters and clams. Diseases such as Dermo and MSX in oysters, and QPX in clams, continue to impact fisheries and aquaculture industries for these species. The laboratory has a long-standing advisory mandate to provide guidance concerning these diseases to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. The Shellfish Pathology Laboratory also plays a prominent international role in shellfish health management as the World Organization for Animal Health Reference Laboratory for haplosporidiosis (a category of disease including MSX) and perkinsosis (which includes Dermo). Development and evaluation of diagnostic assays for these diseases, and training of students and researchers from around the world in these methods, have been activities central to this role. Principal investigator: Dr. Ryan Carnegie