New bill aims to extend oyster harvest season

by Meghan McIntyre
Capital News Service

RICHMOND—A new bill before the Virginia General Assembly aims to increase the Commonwealth’s oyster harvesting season by an additional 30 days.

District 28 Sen. Richard H. Stuart of Montross introduced Senate Bill 629, which extends the patent tong oyster taking season until March 31. The season currently lasts from October 1 to March 1. 

Patent tongs are large, claw-like machines that extract oysters from the bottom of area waters. They produce a larger yield compared to other harvesting methods such as hand tongs.

Approximately 15% of the total reported public market oyster harvest in Virginia during 2020 was landed using patent tongs, according to….[to-view-more]