Virginia loses $30 million in gulf spill
Fewer Gulf oysters arrive in Virginia.
Mon, Aug 09, 2010 at 09:12 AM
A recent report from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)
estimates the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill will cost Virginia's oyster industry $11.6 million annually in direct economic losses. That adds up to total "water-to-table" losses of $30.1 million.
The folks at the Sea Grant Advisory Service Program at VIMS, say the Gulf spill has "disrupted Virginia's seafood marketplace by virtue of the extensive trade and interdependence in fishery and seafood products between the regions."
What's that statement mean? Since Virginia's oyster industry is a mere shadow of its former self (due to overharvesting and habitat loss, as well as disease), the state depends on oysters from the Gulf for its oyster processing and distribution industry. The shutdown and slowdown of imported oysters from the Gulf has Virginia's processing plants sitting idle. And fewer oysters are going to Virginia restaurants, grocers and wholesalers. That's where the $11.6M figure comes from.
Things were just looking up, too, for Virginia's oyster industry. It was in the midst of a promising but capital-intensive effort to re-establish local oyster stocks through aquaculture (raising farmed oysters) within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Yes, oysters can come from farms. But it doesn't happen overnight.
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