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Adaptation of sequential population analysis for quahaug (Mercenaria mercenaria) bottom culture management in St. Mary's Bay, N.S.



An aquaculture lease operated by Innovative Fishery Products Inc. (IFP) in St. Mary's Bay, Nova Scotia, holds a unique and important quahaug population. At present, the management strategy for this aquaculture lease is mainly based on protection of brood stock and managing harvesting effort. It is recognised, however, that a long-term management strategy is required to sustain that population and optimise production levels. IFP entered in this collaborative research and development project to better understand the population dynamics of this species and in turn improve sustainable management practices of clam bottom-culture.

The main objective of this project is to investigate the use of the principles of sequential population analysis in order to develop population models. These models will be validated against classical statistical analyses typically applied to intertidal bivalve populations. The lease provides an ideal setting for such comparisons as there is one user group, the population appears to be isolated and it may be readily surveyed. A key component of this project is to develop methods to evaluate the biomass and structure of a quahaug population that is distributed over a large intertidal area. An annual spring and fall survey is conducted to collect information on the structure of this population. The biomass and distribution is estimated using geostatistical analysis and a shallow water acoustic seabed classification system is used to evaluate the benthic characterisation.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2001 - 2005


Atlantic: Gulf of Maine, Scotian Shelf

Principal Investigator(s)

Marc Ouellette

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