NC - Farmed shellfish creates half of economic impact of shellfish in North Carolina

Cultivated, or farmed, shellfish now represent over half of the total economic impact of shellfish in the state.

Cultivated, or farmed, shellfish now represent over half of the total economic impact of shellfish in the state.

New research has found that North Carolina’s shellfish industry provides over $27 million in economic impact and 532 jobs in the state. Until 2016, the industry’s economic impact primarily came from the harvest of wild oysters and clams.

In 2019, farmed oysters contributed over $14 million to state gross domestic product and 271 jobs, according to research published by Eric Edwards of NC State University’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

The findings stem from a collaborative project led by North Carolina Sea Grant in partnership with researchers at NC State University, Appalachian State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina Wilmington and funded by the N.C. Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Grant Program.

“The goal of the research was to better understand the economic impact of North Carolina’s seafood industry,” says Jane Harrison, North Carolina Sea Grant’s coastal economics specialist and a project lead. “The shellfish results indicate the strength of the growing aquaculture sector.”

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