The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has been promoting aquaculture, especially shellfish aquaculture, for decades.  For example, R&D on the hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria, at the VIMS Wachapreague Lab provided the spark for the growth of the hard clam industry in the 1980’s, now the largest shellfish aquaculture segment on the East coast.  Similarly, R&D over the past two decades on genetics and disease of oysters has given rise to a rapidly growing oyster culture industry in Virginia (and the Bay), which also has become a leader in production along the East coast.  Yet VIMS does not have a formal Departmental representation in aquaculture.  Rather, the expertise in this area culminates across disciplines, across Departments, and across Centers at VIMS.  This web page is meant to provide a common portal to the various disciplinary groups at VIMS capable of responding to emerging research and development needs for shellfish aquaculture.

The Aquaculture Program at VIMS is meant to support the overarching strategic goal at VIMS to enhance the regional economy through scientific discovery and application of new knowledge.  For aquaculture, VIMS aims to provide the critical research, development, training and outreach to position Virginia as the nation’s leader in molluscan shellfish aquaculture.  Through its interspersed scientific and advisory resources, examples of how we might attain these goals are as follows:

  • Sustain vital support for industry in core areas of breeding, disease diagnostics, animal health, and technical training.
  • Develop diagnostic tools and remediation strategies for identifying and overcoming emerging threats to industry associated with environmental change.
  • Provide scientific leadership in public policy for environmentally-responsible and economically-sustainable shellfish aquaculture.

If you are unable to find a specific point of contact relating to the aquaculture topic of interest to you, please [[aquaculture, email us]].

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Aquatic Animal Health

Shellfish, finfish, and crustacean health from individual cells to populations and communities


Providing applied economic research and extension to meet the needs of industry, related businesses, local governments and others.