Commercial Aquaculture In Virginia In 1978

In 1978, all commercial aquaculture enterprises operating in the state were surveyed by telephone and in person to determine the status of the industry and to assess the biological and economic feasibility of rearing aquatic organisms for profit in Virginia. A total of II commercial aquaculture firms were in business during 1978. Six establishments were producing rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) for food and stocking recreational waters, 2 were rearing warmwater sport fish fingerlings and bait fish, and 3 were culturing clams. In contrast to most southern states, no commercial producers in Virginia were growing edible-size channel catfish (Ictalurus Punctatus) for food. The gross economic return from freshwater fish production in Virginia during 1978 was conservatively estimated to exceed $1,000,000 at the first level. Rainbow trout accounted for 75% of the total income. Production of warmwater fingerling sport fish was the second leading source of income, representing about 24% of the total economic returns. Income from bait minnow production contributed less than I%to the total value.

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