Cherrystone Aqua-Farms is a division of Ballard Fish and Oyster Company, Inc., which has been in the shellfish business since 1895. President and general manager Michael Peirson holds a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from North Carolina State University. Dr. Peirson has built on the pioneering work of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to develop a hatchery program that assures the consistent quality of Cherrystone Aqua-Farms littleneck clams.