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VIMS course offers practical experience in shellfish aquaculture

A new course from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science recently gave a group of VIMS graduate students a practical learning experience in shellfish aquaculture.

Taught by Dr. Bill Walton, Acuff Professor in William and Mary’s School of Marine Science and Shellfish Aquaculture Program Coordinator at VIMS, the eight-day course was built around a circumnavigation of the Virginia and Maryland shorelines of the Chesapeake Bay, with working visits to seven commercial shellfish farms, four hatcheries, a shucking house, and a raw bar.

“The goal wasn’t to gain the knowledge needed to become a farmer, but to give students a realistic and up-close view of what shellfish aquaculture looks like in the Chesapeake so they can better understand the needs of this sustainable industry,” said Walton.

This fall, Walton and colleagues will kick off a related shellfish aquaculture course that augments visits to growers with more traditional classroom lectures and lab work.

Although the init...

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