We live in the heart of the oyster and clam industry in Virginia, a win-win situation for us all.
In the past 20 years, oyster production has increased by leaps and bounds on the Eastern Shore and in the Lynnhaven River. In 2014, the oyster harvest in Virginia was the largest since 1987.
Virginia leads the nation in clam production with Eastern shore being the center of the industry. Watermen are working to bring back clamming to the Lynnhaven.
Year round, BFBL members can dine on steamed clams fresh from nearby waters and they can serve up a platter of regional oysters for taste tests.
So be sure to ask your server or your fishmonger where your shellfish comes from before you order. Make sure it’s local.
We can thank aquaculture, along with folks everywhere who work to keep Virginia waters clean for our overflowing shellfish plates.
In aquaculture watermen start with “seeds,” baby oysters and clams that are about 1/16 of an inch big, that are raised in tanks. Baby oysters are then transferred to large floats and cages on rivers and creeks and clams are planted directly on the bottom.
Oyster and clam farmers have control over the size of the shellfish they harvest and in the case of oysters even on how they are shaped with a deep bottom shell that rests nicely on a restaurant half-shell platter.
With aquaculture, watermen are creating a sustainable industry and they are not overharvesting wild stock.
In addition oysters and clams are nature’s vacuum cleaners. As filter feeders, oysters and clams clean the water and help keep it healthy for other yummy seafood to thrive and for humans to enjoy!
Lynnhaven River Now operates an oyster recycling program in Virginia Beach. Recycle your oyster and clamshells and help build more oyster reefs. Find recycling bins at:
- Lynnhaven River NOW office, Brock Environmental Center, 3663 Marlin Bay Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23455. (On a wooden platform near the parking lot entrance from Marlin Bay Dr, )
- VA Aquarium in the Satellite Parking Lot, 717 General Booth Blvd. (This is the parking lot ACROSS General Booth Blvd. from the main Aquarium building.)
- Welton’s Seafood, 940 Laskin Road
- Virginia Beach Landfill, 1989 Jake Sears Road, ask for directions at the gate.
Satellite Lynnhaven River NOW office, 1608 Pleasure House Rd, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23455