HAMPTON--The summer's stormy weather is hurting the state's efforts to boost sales of the Chesapeake ray.
The severe weather is keeping watermen ashore and the heat is sending the rays into deeper water, explains Mike Hutt of the Virginia Marine Products Board.
The cownose ray, the so-called "Veal of the Sea" is caught in the Chesapeake Bay from May to September.
The tornado that ripped through Hampton recently damaged Armory Seafood, the only processing plant in Virginia.
Meade Amory says the tornado damage shut down processing for about a month. He hopes with the facility repaired and better weather, the catch and processing will pick up soon.
Now, a state seafood group is looking for new ways to increase sales.
The Virginia Marine Products Board will hold a public meeting on the issue on August 7. It will be at 4:30 p.m. at Waterman's Hall on the campus of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester, located at 1208 Greate Road. To attend or for more information, call 874-3474.