The Marine Advisory Program works closely with the commercial fishing industry on many fronts. Marine specialists respond to emerging needs – from helping practitioners stay up-to-date with current technology and improved gear efficiency, to developing new products that boost the bottom line for seafood processors and distributors, to helping them navigate changing regulatory requirements.
Over the years, Virginia marine extension specialists have worked with the following key species: black sea bass, sea scallop, oyster, spot, cobia, softshell crab, hard clam, conch/whelk, horseshoe crab, and summer flounder – either in the wild or through aquaculture initiatives. While many projects focus on product development or improved harvesting efficiencies, others represent conservation measures to reduce by-catch or the taking of undersized fish. Virginia Sea Grant continues to work closely with state and federal resource managers and others to identify and implement methods to conserve species and lighten the impact of commercial fishing upon marine resources.