Chris Ludford

Oyster Farmer and Owner, Pleasure House Oysters

‘Our mission at Pleasure House Oysters is to produce the best possible oysters for market in a manner that promotes the reputation, seafood and health of the Lynnhaven River.


I am the sixth generation of my family to derive their living from the sea as either a harvester, merchant seaman or both. I understand the importance of sharing the resource and giving back to the waters that provide for me and my family.  As the father of three young sons I am dedicated to providing them the opportunity to draw their livelihood from the seas if they choose to do so.  I want them to have the opportunity to harvest from, educate about, entertain on, preserve, enhance or explore the oceans. My family has always seen the ocean and tributaries as shared resources that we should care for, restore when possible and not over harvest.  Our family farm has recently expanded into ecotourism and agri-tourism by offering oyster farm and tasting tours for people to see firsthand what we are doing to responsibly grow seafood while we restore wild populations of oysters and their habitat.


Part of this stewardship is planning for future uses. In the recent past we have embraced planning and management of fisheries, but now we should be equally compelled to plan for the impacts of future ocean uses that include trade, energy, and transportation among others.’



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Why We Need Ocean Planning

The ocean and coasts are active places, and we’re putting more demands on them every day. Think about it: traditional uses such as fishing, boating, shipping, recreation, and tourism are all changing and expanding, and at the same time we’re pioneering new industries alongside them like wind energy and sand mining. Ocean planning is about thinking ahead and planning for how to make it all work. Otherwise, we put the ocean’s vast, yet fragile, resources at risk. Voluntary ocean planning allows us to coordinate all these uses in a way that benefits our economy, our communities, and ocean health. Ocean planning is a science-based and data-driven process that provides a tool for people and government to work together, share information and solve problems in a way that works for everyone. Ocean planning helps to identify and resolve potential conflicts early on, helping decision makers and stakeholders in both the private and public sectors do their jobs better. This creates better outcomes for everyone, supporting a healthy ocean and vibrant economy

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