State and federal policymakers are considering options to increase the harvest of native oysters (Crassostrea virginica) from the Chesapeake Bay and nearby coastal waters. This study investigates two policy options: reforming the current leasing system and increasing the amount of funding allocated to research and development. Analysis is based on a survey of oyster producers and an oyster bioeconomic simulation model. Results show that shellfish research aimed at increasing growth rates, reducing mortality, and reducing seed costs could significantly increase returns to oyster aquaculture. Reforming the current leasing system to expand the availability of oyster grounds would do little to increase oyster production because few growers view the current leasing system as a significant barrier to expanding their operations. Further research is needed to investigate other types of assistance to enhance oyster aquaculture and to estimate the producer response to possible price effects of expanding oyster output.
- Bioeconomic model
- Mail survey
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Aquatic Science