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Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center

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Welcome to the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hampton, VA.

Here at the Virginia Seafood AREC, we work to support the future of the historic seafood industry — in Virginia and beyond! Our extension specialists work with industry and research partners to identify and respond to emerging needs and provide technical guidance to stakeholders in every level of the seafood supply chain. Through technical assistance, training, process validation, value-added product development, and more, we help our stakeholders ensure product quality, safety, and viability.

Recognized as a center of excellence for live feeds and hatchery production technologies, we work to advance aquaculture research and development. A new and expanded research facility opened in 2022 and includes aquaculture research facilities that are highly adjustable with the capacity to operate freshwater, brackish, and saltwater systems. 

Additional facilities include a classroom, offices, and laboratories where researchers advance technology in cellular agriculture, alternative proteins, and sustainable food systems. Interwoven with other core center programs, research in economics and marketing covers areas of business development, regulatory impact assessment, and economic impact analysis for industry sectors.


  • Food safety
  • Aquaculture
  • Economics and marketing
  • Cellular agriculture
  • Alternative Proteins
  • Engineering


Researcher works on cell culture experiment under a cell culture hood
Aquaculture specialist holds fish in net


  • Microbiology lab
  • Cell culture lab
  • Recirculating aquaculture systems
  • Aquatic habitat systems
  • Classroom for teaching and training


  • Aquaculture
  • Seafood processors
  • Seafood distributors
  • Seafood retailers
  • Seafood end-users and consumers
  • Cellular agriculture industry
Photo of shopper perusing shellfish case


AREC Fact Sheet

Partly Cloudy Hampton, VA: Partly Cloudy. 83.0 F (28.3 C) 10:54 am EDT

Inside the ARECs

Click on the image below to take a closer look at Virginia Tech's Agricultural Research and Extension Centers.