Development of integrated management methods for soft-shell clam harvesting, seeding and culture activities at a clam culture site located in the St. Lawrence estuary

Q-07-01-003

Description

Various spat supply approaches have been explored in recent years to meet clam producers' seed requirements, with some degree of success. Studies on spat collection have used various types of benthic and pelagic collectors. Some of these collectors have occasionally provided concrete results in the different maritime regions, with collection success frequently reaching tens of thousands of young clams. The results obtained demonstrate that it is possible to transfer or collect young clams for farming purposes. However, the experimental seedings carried out in the Magdalen Islands, Gaspé Peninsula and North Shore show that the dispersal rate is often high for small clams. One potential method that can be used by clam culture operations to counter the negative effects of dispersal is to implement an integrated management strategy of the mariculture site. This strategy, based in part on practices tested in forestry, would involve installing collection, seeding and culture facilities in order to promote spat settlement as well as the retention of natural and seeded clams. It is proposed that research be conducted aimed at gaining a better understanding of the spat recruitment and seed dispersal mechanisms. Clam culture site management strategies will be tested in order to more effectively control these variables.

This request involves five projects, namely:

  1. to develop integrated harvesting, collection and culture strategies (literature review and consultation of forestry and mariculture specialists and fisheries managers);
  2. to inventory the available biomass and recruitment;
  3. to carry out harvesting according to the established plan and sell the harvest;
  4. to carry out seedings and estimate the extent of seed dispersal by size; and
  5. to estimate collection success using collectors.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)

Year(s)

2007 - 2010

Ecoregion(s)

Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary

Principal Investigator(s)

Sylvie Brulotte
Email: Sylvie.Brulotte@dfo-mpo.gc.ca