The Marine Advisory Program has been a leader in marine aquaculture initiatives across the Commonwealth. Efforts in past years have focused on the production of soft-shell blue crabs and the culture of marine finfish for food, stock enhancement, and live bait. The current focus of MAP aquaculture is supporting the sustainable growth of molluscan shellfish culture.
MAP’s shellfish aquaculture extension specialists offer a statewide advisory program that addresses industry questions and concerns. They interact with state and federal agencies, educational institutions, non-governmental organizations, and various other groups within Virginia to find solutions and develop applied research projects that advance the shellfish aquaculture industry. The MAP shellfish extension specialists are an integral part of the Shellfish Aquaculture Program at VIMS, which is directed by Dr. Bill Walton (the Acuff Professor of Marine Science and Shellfish Aquaculture Program Coordinator). This program is designed to help coordinate the aquaculture-related efforts conducted at VIMS. To read more about the program, please visit. These extension services are provided in partnership with Virginia Sea Grant's Marine Extension Program.