Evaluating and optimizing mussel seed quality in Nova Scotia



Seed procurement and M. trossulus prevalence are considered to be the main limiting factors in the development of mussel aquaculture in Eastern Canada and partly responsible for the slow rate of development of the mussel industry in Nova Scotia. The goal of this study is to develop cost effective and practical approaches to evaluate and optimize seed quality by reducing the percentage of M. trossulus.

The objectives of this project are:

  1. to determine the ratio of M. trossulus and M. edulis present in the natural population and aquaculture sites in NS. The occurrence of M. trossulus is largely unknown for this region and may present high spatial and temporal variability. Knowledge of the prevalence M. trossulus in the natural mussel beds will aid growers to identify and optimize areas in which to collect seed.
  2. to collect information specific to M. edulis and to M. trossulus biology in this area that can be use to improve the technique use to collect seed. A better understanding may assist in developing new practices to improve the quantity of M. edulis found in the seed and at the same time increase the productivity of the lease.
  3. to develop a practical culling technique to reduce the proportions of M. trossulus. Techniques based on differential resistance and survival of the two species can be exploited for culling purposes. Water temperature and salinity have already been shown to have an affect on the recruitment success of these two species within a given region (Thomas et al. 2004). Moreover, M. edulis has been considered more resistant to survive in stressful conditions such as air exposure (Hellou and Law 2003). These types of stress factors will be used to attempt to increase the percentage of M. edulis

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2007 - 2009


Atlantic: Gulf of Maine, Scotian Shelf

Principal Investigator(s)

Thomas Landry
Email: Thomas.Landry@dfo-mpo.gc.ca