VIMS Marine Advisory Program

A Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Specialist is available to answer questions and connect you to additional resources.

Virginia Aquaculture Conference

The Virginia Aquaculture Conference is premier event held in odd years, hosted by VIMS Marine Advisory Program and Virginia Sea Grant, that brings aquaculturists together to network with others in the field, learn about relevant issues and opportunities, and explore new methods and devices for harvesting. This two-day event with a Trade Show offers a unique opportunity for a new grower to connect to all the resources available.

Virginia Shellfish Growers email ListServe

Managed by VIMS Marine Advisory Program to provide Virginia growers infrequent, yet relevant content including news articles, available resources, notices of important meetings, regulatory changes and educational opportunities.  To sign up:
Step 1. go to the list homepage:
Step 2.  Click on the subscribe button in the left-hand menu
Step 3. Fill out your email and name and hit subscribe
Step 4.  Verify subscription
Step 5.  Go to your email in box and you should see a message from SYMPA asking you to again verify the subscription – hit subscribe
Or just email Karen Hudson ( requesting addition to the list.

Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference

The Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) is the federal cooperative body which manages the National Shellfish Sanitation Program. It was formed in 1982 to foster and promote the sanitation of shellfish through the cooperation of state and federal control agencies, the shellfish industry, and the academic community. Anyone interested in shellfish sanitation is encouraged to participate in the ISSC. The Conference holds an annual meeting, attended by representatives of state shellfish control agencies from both producing and non-producing states, federal agencies, industry, and academic institutions.

The ISSC manages three task forces: the Growing Areas task force, the Processing and Distribution task force, and Administration task force. Committees are often appointed to assist task forces in developing recommendations. Delegates from each state shellfish control agency vote on recommendations submitted by the task forces.

Other Events for shellfish growers:


Consider supporting your local industry trade association along with regional and national associations as you are able. Membership is crucial to fund advocacy on behalf of the entire industry.  Associations track local, regional, and national issues, meet with lawmakers and in many cases shut down potentially damaging legislation before it hits the floor.  Much of what they do is behind the scenes and membership support is critical.

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