- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Aquaculture sales in Virginia have increased despite a decline in the number of commercial operations.

A federal census shows aquaculture sales in 2013 were 26 percent higher than in 2005. During the same period, the number of commercial operations fell 19 percent.

Sales in 2013 totaled $41.5 million.

The census conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service shows that mollusks accounted for more than half of the sales.

Spencer Neale with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation says aquaculture sales have increased in Virginia over the past 20 years. Neale says the growth is expected to continue.

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