National Fisherman


MATHEWS — Tucked away on the watery fringe of Milford Haven on Gwynn's Island sits a modest white warehouse that has become a powerhouse in the oyster industry, helping fuel a rebirth of one of the Chesapeake Bay's iconic symbols.
 
Owned by Urbanna resident Rufus Ruark Jr. and under the direction of Mike Congrove, Oyster Seed Holdings produces more than a billion eye larvae oysters — which are just about to set — and more than 60 million seed oysters annually.
 
The company's oysters are nurtured in its warehouse, which draws water from Milford Haven and where the conditions are tightly controlled. The company's oysters are sold all along the East Coast, from South Carolina to Rhode Island.
 
"This isn't just a Virginia thing that's going on," Congrove said. "It's an East Coast thing that's going on."
 
The company's growth curve is steady since launching over the winter of 2008-09. Big processors had problems securing oyster product and Oyster Seed Holdings was started as a way to fill a void in the production cycle.
 
Since then, Oyster Seed Holdings is showing no signs of slowing down its production, which has more than doubled in five years Cosgrove said.
 
"We expect it to go up again this year as well," Cosgrove said. "Maybe as soon as next year we'll do a significant expansion."
 
Congrove said the company has 60 to 80 customers, with the largest producing on the order of six to seven million oysters a year. The company's smallest customers produce about 500,000 oysters a year, Congrove said.
 
Read the full story at the Daily Press>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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