How They’re Grown

Aquaculture oysters are grown in cages, in bags on racks, in floats and spat-on-shell bottom planting. Oysters grown in cages/racks/floats are generally destined for the more lucrative half-shell market, while spat-on-shell oysters are usually grown for the shucking market.

Cultured oyster production can be viewed as a 3-step process – hatchery; nursery; and grow-out to market size.

The first step begins onshore in a hatchery, where adult oysters are encouraged to spawn and produce baby oysters.  During this hatchery stage, oysters of all ages (broodstock, larvae, and post-set juveniles) are fed a diet consisting primarily of cultured micro-algae and then a mixture of cultured algae and natural algae.

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Virginia Seafood
The V.M.P.B. would like to give a thank you to V.D.A.C.S. Commissioner Joseph Guthrie for attending S.E.G. 2022 as part of the S.U.S.T.A. delegation. ... See MoreSee Less
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