Tag Archives: Virginia

Virginia Aquaculture Contacts

Agencies / Regulatory

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Agriculture and Forestry Development Services
102 Governor Street, Room 313
Richmond, VA 23219
T. Robins Buck, Senior Project Manager
804.371.6094 (office)
FAX: 804.371.7786
e-mail: robins.buck@vdacs.virginia.gov

Education and Extension

Dr. Brian Nerrie
Aquaculture Extension Specialist (Pond Culture)
Virginia State University
P. O. Box 9081
Petersburg, VA 23806
Tel: 804-524-5903
(804) 524-5903 bnerrie@vsu.edu

Michael H. Schwarz, Ph.D.
Aquaculture Specialist
Virginia Tech’s Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center (VSAREC)
102 S. King Street
Hampton,Virginia 23669
Tel: (757) 727-4861

Virginia Sea Grant
Virginia Institute of Marine Science (Maury Hall, see map)
PO Box 1346
1208 Greate Rd.
Gloucester Point, VA 23062
FAX: (804) 684-7269

Marketing & Economics

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 102 Governor Street Richmond, Virginia 23219 Tel: 804.786.3501

Provides programs, including marketing, food safety inspection and others, visit our website and from that homepage click on Marketing Services (Virginia Grown, etc.) and Regulatory Services (Food Safety, etc.)

Affiliated Associations

Virginia Aquaculture Association
P. O. Box 115
Bremo Bluff, VA 23022
Email: vaamail@aol.com

Virginia Tilapia Culture

Virginia has a diverse aquaculture industry that encompasses fresh water to salt (marine) water, to warm water to cold water and includes fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Tilapia is considered a warm water fish that can only be raised in enclosed building (barn, greenhouse or other structure) and in an enclosed production system (and these are usually recirculating systems). (Source: Robins Buck, Virginia Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services)

Blue Ridge Aquaculture located in Martinsville, Virginia raises nearly 4 million pounds of tilapia each year and is the world’s largest indoor producer of tilapia.


To be able to raise tilapia, you must obtain a permit from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) and this permit is renewable annually. You can contact Mr. Ed Steinkoenig of DGIF at 804-367-0585 or ed.steinkoenig@dgif.virginia.gov

“Virginia’s Finest” Standards for Farm-Raised Tilapia (PDF)

Business Planning

For business planning assistance, go to https://www.virginiasbdc.org/ and then click/hover on Virginia SBDC Offices and State Map to find the SBDC Office that services your area; call them and make an appointment for a business consultant to be assigned to you for development of your Business Plan (this is either free or for a very nominal fee). Also, you can go to VA FAIRS at http://www.vafairs.com/  and look down the left side for all kinds of information but especially look at Business Plans under Assistance and the Virtual Business Center under resources; you could do a Business Plan here before calling on your area SBDC Office. (Source: Robins Buck, Virginia Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services)