Va. Oyster Harvest up Sharply in Past Decade

Courtesy: NOAA

Virginia's oyster harvest has grown tenfold in the past decade to 236,000 bushels in 2011.

During that same period, the dockside valued of the oyster harvest has increased to $8.26 million, up from $575,000 in 2001.

Gov. Bob McDonnell's office released the oyster numbers on Tuesday, crediting the Virginia Marine Resource Commission for the turnaround. The commission supports oyster sanctuaries and targeted shell plantings on public oyster grounds.

Commissioner Steven G. Bowman called this year's harvest the best in a quarter century.

While improving, the harvest of the Chesapeake Bay oyster is still puny compared to historic levels. In the 1960s, annual harvests of more than 1 million bushels were not uncommon. Two diseases have devastated the bay's oysters stocks over the years.