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Comparison of oyster growth and survival pre- and post- establishment of the oyster parasite, MSX, in the Bras d’Or Lakes, Canada



Oyster aquaculture within the Bras d’Or Lakes was growing to commercial scale, especially within Eskasoni First Nation, prior to the MSX outbreak in 2002. Since then, this oyster farm is no longer in operation at a commercial scale. While the MSX crisis has been studied and mitigation measures have been done, there is a need to take a look at the status (growth, survivorship and environmental parameters), before and after the crisis to determine any parameter changes in the water and to spot any trends.

This project aims to assess the growth and survivorship of 2019-20 spat collected and grown in Gillis Cove and Crane Cove, as well as to compare growth, survivorship, and MSX prevalence and intensity between different oyster trays in the region. It will compare present MSX prevalence and intensities with past sampling results and water parameters recorded, as well as past weather patterns to see if these data correlate with the MSX infection. This information will help the industry move forward through better disease management, by choosing optimal sites, better grow out methods, and setting up disease monitoring programs.

Program name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


Three years: 2019-2022

Principal investigator

Michelle Maillet, aquatic science technician, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Fisheries Centre, Gulf Region

Team members

René Lavoie, scientist emeritus, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Maritimes Region


Allison McIsaac, biologist, Eskasoni Fish and Wildlife Commission

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