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Performance of triploid mussels in Prince Edward Island



As part of mussel aquaculture, up to 75% of the mussels socked are lost throughout the grow-out phase. This has a negative effect on the ecological - and production - carrying capacity and is not an efficient use of the natural resources available to the mussel aquaculture industry, particularly phytoplankton, which is essential to enhance the ecological and production carrying capacity of an estuary or bay.

Building on previous Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR) project PARR-2015-G-06 Mussel stock structure and density in long-line culture, this project will study the efficient use of natural resources (phytoplankton) to grow mussels, by determining the byssus (i.e., silky fibers made of proteins by the mussels that attaches to other substrates) attachment strength in wild and hatchery produced diploid and triploid mussels. Sexually-mature mussels will be collected from the field in spring and transferred to a local hatchery. Diploid and triploid larvae will be produced, grown in the field and transferred into socks. During the 1-year grow-out phase, the project’s monitoring will focus on the environment, byssus strength, feeding efficiency, and triploid composition. The overall objective of this project is to improve the ecological footprint of the mussel leases by reducing mussel fall off and increasing mussel absorption rates, as well as to test if triploid mussels result in increased byssus attachment strength thus increasing the likelihood of mussels remaining on the sock until harvest.

Program name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


3-year project

Principal investigator

Luc Comeau, Research Scientist, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Fisheries Centre, Gulf Region

Team members

John Davidson, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Fisheries Centre, Gulf Region
Réjean Tremblay, Institut des Sciences de la Mer (ISMER)
André L. Mallet, L’Étang Ruisseau Bar Ltd.
Jose M.F. Babarro, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas CSIC
Aaron Ramsay, PEI Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development


Terry Ennis, Confederation Cove Mussels Co. Ltd.
Dana Drummond, Confederation Cove Mussels Co. Ltd.

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