The Chesapeake Bay region has a long-standing tradition of seafood production. Some of the most recognizable products include oysters, crabs, and striped bass or rockfish. From settlement days to present there have been advances in seafood production and processing techniques that have improved the quality and availability of these products nationwide. Shucking houses for oysters were historically found all throughout the bay and employed hundreds of people. Crab processing facilities have moved from hand-processing to mechanized crab picking equipment that saves time and can improve yield. Additionally, food safety practices have grown by leaps and bounds. Strict regulations on oyster harvesting times and temperatures have reduced the incidence of illness by consumers. Pasteurization techniques have also improved the shelf life of seafood products, reducing food waste and ensuring a safe and reliable product to consumers worldwide.
Much of the techniques and research in developing this technology has been done right here in Maryland. Extension programs to train growers and processors in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) practices are ongoing. For more information about these training opportunities, please contact Cathy Liu (email@example.com), or visit the Maryland Sea Grant Seafood Extension webpage.