Some reports estimate that the U.S. imports as much as 90 percent of its seafood, making the trade deficit for seafood second only to oil among natural resource deficits in United States.
The research being conducted at the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hampton could change that. Not only does the research encourage growth of Virginia’s aquaculture industry, it also helps to maintain a safe seafood supply nationwide.
Virginia has seen particularly strong growth in the oyster industry and produced more than 500,000 bushels in the last year — a quantity that represents a 25 percent increase over the previous year and has not been seen in almost a generation.
One focus of researchers at the Virginia Seafood AREC is the control of pathogens, such as vibrios, in raw oysters.