Virginia’s seafood industry provided a $1.1 billion boost to the state’s economy in 2019, according to a new Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center (VSAREC) economic impact study.
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Sponsored by the Virginia Marine Products Board, the VSAREC study found that Virginia’s seafood industry supported 7,187 jobs and generated over $26 million in tax revenue from local, state, and federal taxes. Twenty-four percent ($6.3 million) of the total tax generated was local.
Virginia’s seafood industry provides valuable employment opportunities for watermen, aquaculture farmers, processors, distributors, and others in the Commonwealth’s coastal areas.
The total employment effect of the Virginia seafood industry was estimated to benefit 7,187 people, with a direct effect of 6,050 jobs, indirect effect of 523 jobs, and induced effect of 614 jobs.
The total labor income was estimated to be $168.1 million, and the total value added estimated to be $545 million.
Along with being number one on the East Coast for oyster production, Virginia is fourth in the nation and first on the U.S. Atlantic Coast in seafood landings.
In 2020, total landings in the Commonwealth were valued at more than $200 million,” said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “
The economic benefits of the seafood supply chain to the overall state economy demonstrates the magnitude and reach of the Virginia seafood industry.
Those economic sectors include polystyrene foam product manufacturing, boat building, sporting and athletic goods manufacturing, commercial and industrial machinery and equipment repair and maintenance through direct expenditures by seafood businesses.
Non-depository credit intermediation, owner-occupied dwellings, and real estate sectors are supported as wages and salaries paid to employees throughout the seafood supply chain multiply in Virginia`s economy.
The total economic contribution of Virginia’s seafood industry is comprised of $887.7 million in direct effect, an indirect effect of $117.6 million, and an induced effect of $99.5 million.
The economic multiplier of the industry was 1.24, which indicates that every dollar spent in the industry generated an additional $0.24 of output in the Virginia economy in 2019. The total economic impact figures for the industry are conservative. The analysis does not include retail and restaurant services, or the spillover benefits to economies outside Virginia.
Virginia is home to the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States. A single adult oyster can purge 50 gallons of water a day. The gardening and farming of oysters reduces harvest pressure on wild stocks, and increases the overall number of shellfish that help clean the water and serve as habitat for other marine life. ■
An upper-level trough over the Four Corners region currently will move east across the Southern Plains through this evening which will help to focus a strengthening area of low pressure north of the Red River Valley as a couple of trailing cold fronts drop southeastward across Texas.