The White Boot blog
Exploring Old Ideas In Brave New Ways


Science For the Bay, Impact for the World

Everything you wanted to know a about Virginia aquaculture but were afraid to ask.

Join us for the 2017 Virginia Aquaculture Conference, November 17-18 at the New News Marriott, Center City.  Featuring a very special keynote address by renowned chef, sustainable seafood advocate and author, Barton Seaver!

The aquaculture industry in Virginia is made up of bivalve shellfish, marine and freshwater finfish and freshwater prawn industries. 


This is an industry conference, providing an opportunity to learn about current and upcoming issues, explore new developments in culture technology, and interact with others with similar interests. 

Although industry focused, with the rising interest in home-based oyster gardening, this event promises to be an immersion and networking extravaganza for any serious grower in our state.

  • LEARN about the latest industry issues and developments in “culture” technology.
  • EXPLORE a wide variety of exhibitors including the latest in gear and technology, insurance, feed suppliers, loan information, trade organizations, agency resources, and much more! 
  • CELEBRATE AQUACULTURE at the Friday night gala, featuring a taste of the delicious hard clams, oysters, mountain trout, catfish, tilapia, hybrid striped bass and freshwater prawns – all grown in Virginia.  Champion oyster shuckers, Deborah Pratt and Clementine Macon, will be on hand to dazzle you at the raw bar!


As a special feature this year to highlight the “Merrior to Terroir” relationship, the Virginia Oyster Trail has organized paired tastings of Virginia Oysters with select wines and beer, featuring Trail members:  Cherrystone Aqua-Farms, Big Island Aquaculture, the Williamsburg Winery and the O’Connor Brewing Company.


Here’s is a SMALL sample of the breakouts sessions (click here for more):

  • Grower Panel – Small-scale Oyster Farm Operation Discussions with Representatives from the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and the Eastern Shore. Jennifer Palazzo, Morattico Creek Oyster Co.; Tommy Leggett, Chessie Seafood and Aquafarms; Chris Buck, Ruby Salts Oyster Co.
  • Engage Virginia’s Economic Engine: Tourism, Trails, and Marketing with Sherri Smith, Artisans Center of Virginia and Virginia Oyster Trail and Staci Martin, Virginia Tourism Corporation
  • Shellfish Growers of Virginia Membership Meeting, facilitated by Mike Oesterling

The Virginia Aquaculture Conference is hosted by Virginia Institute of Marine Science and is a collaborative effort between the Virginia Department of Agriculture, Virginia Farm Bureau, Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension Agency, Virginia Tourism Corporation and industry organizations like the Shellfish Growers of Virginia, Virginia Aquaculture Association and Virginia Oyster Trail.


About the Virginia Institute of Marine Science

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has a three-part mission to conduct research in coastal ocean and estuarine science, educate students and citizens, and provide advisory service to policy makers, industry, and the public. VIMS provides these services to Virginia, the nation, and the world. 

VIMS and its federal partners offer a wide variety of free public programs, both on the VIMS campus in Gloucester Point and at venues throughout Hampton Roads and the lower Chesapeake Bay region.

Visit the Virginia Oyster Trail Calendar of Events regularly for listings of upcoming activities and events

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