Connecticut’s shellfish business has been experiencing a solid turnaround over the past few years — and a March 8 Food & Drug Administration announcement is raising hopes even higher. ….
In August 2016, Murphy led a letter with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative John Larson (CT-1), Joe Courtney (CT-2), and Elizabeth Esty (CT-5, including Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown and Sherman) advocating for the removal of years-old barriers to shellfish trade and restoration of U.S. shellfish producers’ access to European markets.
Statewide, Connecticut’s aquaculture industry supports more than 700 jobs and has an annual economic impact of $47.5 million. Direct sales increased by almost 100 percent from 2007 to 2015, according to a University of Connecticut report. And according to Connecticut’s Bureau of Aquaculture, more than 70,000 acres of shellfish farms are now under cultivation in the state’s coastal waters.
“With this surge in production,” the lawmakers wrote, “it is increasingly critical to the long-term stability of domestic producers to expand to new markets and there is clear opportunity for expansion into European markets.”