Michael Schwarz, Director of the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center (AREC) talks about the initiatives led by Virginia Tech to help ensure the health of the region’s seafood industry in his presentation “VA Tech and the Future of Crabtown” as part of the Hampton History Museum’s free “Lunch in Time” series on Wednesday, January 17, noon-1:00 p.m.
Located in a refurbished oyster processing building at the water’s edge in Downtown Hampton since 1975, the AREC is a vital source of information that helps the seafood industry thrive in an increasingly competitive global market. The AREC’s mission is to research and create the most vital and current technologies and techniques in the seafood industry and to share that knowledge with the industry and partners who need it to succeed.
From deep-water fishermen and Chesapeake Bay crabbers to seafood distributors and the booming aquaculture industry, the impact and reach of the commonwealth’s seafood industry is vast. With an annual economic impact of more than $550 million, the Virginia seafood industry accounts for more than 5,600 jobs and increases diversity in the state’s economic portfolio.
In order to remain current, Virginia Tech seeks more modern, up-to-date facilities to help the commonwealth continue to be a global leader in seafood research, aquaculture and food safety. Schwarz states, “At the Virginia Seafood AREC, we view ourselves as partners with the seafood industry, and we constantly work together to find ways to help it succeed and remain sustainable. New facilities will allow us to continue to do so in a way that best benefits our partners for years to come.”
The program is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring a bag lunch. The museum will provide free dessert.