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Ornamental Aquaculture Initiative

The VSAREC/ Virginia Institute of Marine Science Eastern Shore Laboratory / Virgnia Sea Grant marine ornamental aquaculture programming began in 2015 as an academic/industrial collaboration. This emerging sector represents not only a significant economic opportunity, but also provides a strong conservation benefit to future generations.

  • Global wholesale value of this sector is approximately $1 billion annually, with retail sales exceeding $3 billion.
  • Ornamental aquaculture programming encompasses broodstock development, hatchery production technologies, new live-feeds development, production and nutrition optimization, as well as transportation, marketing, and sales support. 
  • Resulting from this initiative, Virginia's 1st marine ornamental producer (Mid-Atlantic Aquatech) began sales in 2016.
  • Discussions are now ongoing for a second ornamental producer to begin operations in Virginia in 2018.
  • Virginia's seafood and ornamental aquaculture sectors are poised to continue significant growth and expansion within the commonwealth and beyond, providing greater socioeconomic opportunities and benefits in coastal communities.
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