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Oyster harvests increase dramatically over past decade

Virginia’s oyster harvest has skyrocketed over the past decade, state officials announced, a boom fueled through aggressive actions by regulators and the industry.

The ripple effects from last year’s oyster harvest resulted in approximately $22 million in economic value, state officials said in a Feb. 7 press release.

John Bull, a spokesman for the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, attributed the greatly improved harvest numbers to VMRC’s use of oyster sanctuaries, targeted shell plantings and a rotational harvest system.

"Virginia oysters are not only delicious, they are also profitable," Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a joint announcement with VMRC. He praised regulators and actions by previous governors for "the incredible growth in our oyster harvests."

Bull said that "this proactive oyster management regime is paying off." Regulators are thrilled with the oyster harvest numbers rising, especially since many oysters in state...

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