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A study of the reproductive patterns of the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis grown in deep and shallow water sites in Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador



Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, traditionally uses shallow water sites for mussel aquaculture, but changing spawning patterns have had a direct effect on sustainability. Offshore and deeper sites might provide a more stable deep water environment that might help to reduce physical/environmental factors (such as mitigating temperature/salinity changes, less mechanical/wave disturbance, or different concentrations of phytoplankton) thought to influence the frequency of spawning events. Offshore sites would also have lesser impacts on the benthic environment, enabling enhanced environmental sustainability.

ACRDP project NL-12-01-001’s preliminary results have suggested that: blue mussels from deep water sites can show improved conditions versus shallow water sites; spawning events are more infrequent and predictable; and meat yield is maintained.

This project will document, characterize, and compare the gonadal development in mussels cultured in deep vs. shallow water sites to determine differences in spawning frequency. The project will also monitor environmental factors that might affect gonadal development in blue mussels.

Results from this project will assist the mussel industry to enhance environmentally responsible operations by optimizing the utilization of resources on leases. Industry will be provided with important information on the reproductive condition and patterns of farmed mussels, leading to better overall management. The success of this project would also help reduce the impact of mussel farming on near-shore environment.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2015 - 2017

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Harry Murray
Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador Region

Team Member(s)

Sharon Kenny, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador Region

Dwight Drover, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador Region

Collaborative Partner(s)

Terry Mills, Norlantic Processors Ltd.

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