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The effect of environment and seed origin on the health of cultivated mussels in Prince Edward Island



Mussel seed (spat) is usually collected by growers onsite, or from other commercial seed leases in the region. Spat is often transferred between leases to supplement under-producing areas and to increase efficiency. Recently, growers and scientists have observed that meat yields vary by site and that certain seed sources, once transferred, perform well in some locations but not others. This variability in performance may be linked to site-specific differences in environmental parameters.

This project aims to determine if mussel seed source and grow-out location influence overall mussel success. Accomplishing this will involve a meta-analysis of existing environmental and mussel performance data, using a dataset from a multi-year monitoring program aimed at evaluating mussel health. This historical data will be combined with experimental data gathered from an assessment of mussel seed source in different areas of mussel production in order to create a comprehensive model for spat and mussel success at important mussel sites in P.E.I.

Program name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


Three years: 2019-2022

Principal investigator

John Davidson, aquatic biologist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, P.E.I. Area Office, Gulf Region

Team members

Luke Poirier, NSERC Visiting Post-Doctoral Fellow, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Fisheries Centre, Gulf Region
Luc Comeau, research scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Fisheries Centre, Gulf Region
Aaron Ramsay, shellfish biologist, P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries


Tiago S. Hori, Director of Aquaculture Innovation, Atlantic Aqua Farms

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