Measuring far-field exposure of aquaculture feed on wild commercial species using biochemical tracers



A research project to investigate the potential use of biochemical tracers in order to detect aquaculture exposure in wild species was conducted form October 2008 to March 2009. Several wild species (lobsters, crabs, urchins, seastars, horse mussels, and blue mussel) were collected both near aquaculture sites and away. Tissues from these species were analysed for the presence of trace elements, stable isotopes and synthetic pigments associated with aquaculture activity. Preliminary results show a distinct signal from the synthetic isomers of canthaxanthin and astaxanthin detected within the tissues of some invertebrate species. These pigments are also found within the aquaculture feed. The preliminary results from trace elements and stable isotopes were not as clear and still required further data analysis to determine if these would be appropriate tracers for aquaculture exposure.

Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)


2008 - 2009


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

Principal Investigator(s)

J. Andrew Cooper

Shawn Robinson