Oysters Chesapeake Bay
McDonnell seeks disaster declaration for state’s oyster industry
Gov. Bob McDonnell has asked federal officials to include Virginia’s oyster industry among the commercial fisheries severely damaged by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
McDonnell sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke seeking a disaster declaration under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
The declaration is necessary for Congress to consider appropriating money to the industry, which according to a Virginia Institute of Marine Science report will lose $30.1 million this year.
Virginia has for decades supplemented the local catch with gulf oysters — some processors buy up to 85 percent of their product from the gulf.