NORWALK, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Ned Lamont calls Connecticut’s shoreline the Napa Valley of Oysters. A quarter-century after a parasite nearly killed off the state’s oyster industry, it is thriving again.
Government and private efforts to clean up Long Island Sound, develop disease-resistant shellfish and find new markets, especially during the coronavirus pandemic have helped aquaculture become a $30 million a year business in Connecticut, with oyster’s accounting for about $15.9 million of that.
The state has helped the oystermen survive the pandemic, providing tax breaks and hiring them to help rehabilitate Connecticut’s 17,500 acres of natural beds.