11:00 am – 4:00 pm
REGISTRATION (Grand Ballroom Foyer)

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm   

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Bivalve Shellfish (Pearl Ballroom)
1:00 pm Grower Panel – Good Neighbor Strategies to Avoid User Conflicts   Growers relating their experience with good neighbor strategies – one of the key elements of the industry’s best management practices document. MRR 2008-10_BMP for VA culture industry

Panelists: Patrick Oliver, Rappahannock Oyster Co.; Chris Ludford, Pleasure House Oysters; Chris Buck, Ruby Salts Oyster Co.  

2:00 pm Ask a RegulatorOpen forum with your agency staff.   VDH Shellfish Safety:  Danielle Schools, Plant Program Manager; Adam Wood, Growing Area Manager.  VMRC:  Andrew Button, Head of Conservation and Replenishment; Ben Stagg, Director Shellfish Aquaculture Leasing and Mapping

Finfish (Grand Ballroom III & IV)

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Research and Extension Updates


  • Michael Schwarz – New facilities, programs, & IALR update
  • Jonathan van Senten – Economics, marketing, and regulations
  • Reza Ovissipour – Sustainable Food Production Systems

VT – Blacksburg

  • David Kuhn – Aquaculture Production Innovations and Post-Harvest Quality


  • Chris Mullins – Aquaponics
  • Brian Nerrie – Pond Aquaculture
  • Martin Crosby – Fish Health

2:00 pm VDGIF Aquaculture Program Updates – Brendan Delbos, State Aquaculture Coordinator, VDGIF

2:15 pm Aquaculture Round Table (Producers and Associations)

Moderated by Brian Nerrie, Extension Specialist, Virginia State University

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
(refreshments provided)

3:00 pm- 4:00 pm

Bivalve Shellfish (Pearl Ballroom)
Rapid Fire Student Research – Part 1
Graduate student research supported by Virginia Sea Grant. The presentations will be short and targeted to what’s most relevant for shellfish growers. Moderated by Abigail Hils, Virginia Sea Grant.

  • Do larval conditions in the hatchery impact field performance of juvenile oysters? (Annie Schatz)
  • Hard Clam Genetic Structure and Tool Development for Industry (Ann Ropp)
  • The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Forecast System: real-time information for the aquaculture industry (Fei Da)
  • Social, regulatory, and spatial constraints in VA’s oyster aquaculture expansion (Jennifer Beckensteiner)

Finfish (Grand Ballroom III & IV)
3:00 pm Resources for your New or Expanding Aqua-Business – Stephen Versen, Manager, Office of Agriculture and Forestry Development, VDACS

3:30 pm A Partnership Approach to Strengthening Aquatic Animal Health – Paul Zajicek, Executive Director, National Aquaculture Association

4:00 pm – 4:45 pm  Shellfish Growers of Virginia (SGV) (Grand Ballroom III & IV)

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER – Jim Perdue, Chairman and Advertising Spokesman of Perdue FarmsModerated By Tony Banks, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation
(Pearl Ballroom)

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
(provided)  Featuring a taste of Virginia’s finest farm-raised seafood products. Enjoy preparations of local clams, mountain trout, tilapia, and catfish. The reception will also feature a  ‘merroir to terroir’ experience thanks to our Virginia Oyster Trail partners! This “water to land” palate experience showcases member pairings of fresh, farmed oysters with Virginia wine and beer companions. Sample “York River Oysters” paired with Alewerks‘ exclusive batch of “York River Oyster Stout” and Rappahannock Oyster Company‘s “Olde Salt” oysters paired with Saude’ Creek Vineyards signature “Pearl” vintage.  Featuring special guest, Deborah Pratt, Virginia’s National Oyster Shucking Champion.

Additional menu items will be available. Guest tickets are available for purchase.


7:30 am – 10:30 am
REGISTRATION (Grand Ballroom Lobby)

7:30 am – 8:30 am
HOT BREAKFAST (Grand Ballroom)

8:00 am – 8:30 am
VIRGINIA OYSTER TRAIL STATE OF THE UNION (Grand Ballroom III & IV) – Sherri Smith, Virginia Oyster Trail

8:30 am- 10:00 am

Bivalve Shellfish (Pearl Ballroom)
8:30 am Industry Expansion Panel – Discussion of a potential new strategy for shellfish industry expansion along with the associated legal/policy implications.  Growers will have the opportunity to provide comments throughout the day at an exhibit table in the foyer.

Moderated by Pat Geer, Chief of Fisheries Management, VMRC 
Panelists:  Roger Mann, Professor; Marcia Berman, Comprehensive Coastal Inventory Program Manager, Center for Coastal Resource Management, VIMS; Angela King, Assistant Director, Virginia Coastal Policy Center, William & Mary; and Jim Wesson, retired VMRC Oyster Management

9:30 am Rapid Fire Student Research – Part 2
Graduate student research supported by Virginia Sea Grant.  The presentations will be short and targeted to what’s most relevant for shellfish growers. Moderated by Abigail Hils, Virginia Sea Grant

  • How do harmful algal blooms affect cultured oysters? (Clara Robison)
  • Hunting for HAB Toxins in Chesapeake Bay (Michelle Onofrio)
  • When oyster larvae meet HABs (Sarah Pease)

Finfish (Grand Ballroom III & IV)
8:30 am Emerging Species and Technologies – Chris Tollini, Assistant Aquaculture Manager, Aquaculture Research Center, UMBC-Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology

9:15 am A Case Study: Black Sea Bass Commercialization Efforts – Chris Bentley, Seawater research Manager, Eastern Shore Laboratory, VIMS

10:00 am – 10:30 am
(refreshments provided)

10:30 am- 12:30 pm

 Bivalve Shellfish (Pearl Ballroom)
10:30 am News from the Genetics Front
Moderated by Stan Allen, Director, Aquaculture Genetics and Breeding Technology Center (ABC), VIMS

  • Improving Hard Clam Genetics for Better Performance – Richard Snyder, Director, Eastern Shore Laboratory, VIMS
  • Investigating the Genetic Basis of Triploid Oyster Mortality – Joey Matt, VIMS
  • The Future Added Value of Shellfish Breeding- Stan Allen, VIMS

11:30 am Biosecurity and Shellfish Health
Moderated by Ryan Carnegie, Research Professor, VIMS

  • Regional Disease Management Matters – Ryan Carnegie, VIMS
  • Hatchery Health: Collaborative Efforts Supporting Hatchery Production- Emily Rivest, Assistant Professor VIMS
  • Proactive Efforts to Gauge the Potential Threat of Herpes-Type Virus to Virginia oysters  -Kimberly Reece, Professor, VIMS

Finfish (Grand Ballroom III & IV)
Aquaponics Session

10:30 am Novel Sanitizers for Controlling Bacterial Biofilms  -Reza Ovissipour, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist , VT Seafood AREC

11:00 am State of the Aquaponics IndustryBrian Filipowich, Chair, Aquaponics Association

11:30 am Hands-on Aquaponics Demonstration  – Chris Mullins, Extension Specialist, VSU

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
GENERAL SESSION (Pearl Ballroom)

1:30 pm Positive Aquaculture PR Panel

Moderator: Sherri Smith, Lander Creative

2:30 pm Regulations and Costs

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm

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