McAuliffe announces November as Virginia oyster month

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Holding fresh opened oyster in hands on water background

Gov. McAuliffe announced November is Virginia Oyster Month.

What a crab is to Maryland, the oyster is to Virginia.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced November as Virginia Oyster Month Wednesday, one year after the Virginia Oyster Trail launched.

The trail links travelers to shellfish attractions around the state, including Tidewater, home of oysters that the Virginia Tourism Corporation describes as “salty… with sweetness and a smooth finish.”

“Oysters are a vital component to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and to Virginia, as they naturally clean the Chesapeake Bay and attract visitors from all over the world to the region,” McAuliffe wrote in a news release.

Thanks to new technology and a dedicated workforce, Virginia is the largest producer of aquaculture, clams and all seafood on the East Coast, according to the news release.

“More than 135 million oysters were planted by Virginia’s aquaculture industry in 2015, an increase of 27 percent over the previous year,” Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward wrote in a news release.

“Preliminary estimates indicate that the Commonwealth’s wild-caught harvest remained constant at its highest level in more than two and a half decades, cementing an increase of 50 percent over the past three years,” she added.

To learn more about oysters, its local impact and where to eat them, click here.

Belichis can be reached at  justin@southsidedaily.com.

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