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Literature and technology review of starfish control



Between 1999 and 2004, Pecten seeded 76 million scallops at their three sites in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (Northumberland Strait, Miramichi and Chaleur Bay). In addition, it placed some 200,000 scallops in suspended culture. Although the seeding and culture operations are promising, the presence of high densities of starfish (primary predator of scallops) at the culture site is a source of concern. It is therefore critical, especially at the Chaleur Bay site, to find a cost-effective way to reduce the density of these predators.

Starfish currently have no commercial value in the region. However, given the large numbers of starfish present at the Chaleur Bay site, potential markets should be explored in order to recover the costs of the control of this predator.

The objectives of the project are as follows:

  • To document starfish control methods currently used throughout the world (Quebec, Japan, France, United States …) including the methods described in the gray literature.
  • To document starfish control methods used by mussel and oyters growers in the Atlantic region.
  • To document the costs of the starfish control methods used in order to be able to make informed decisions about the Pecten mussel/oyster sites and therefore to protect past and future investments.
  • To transmit the information to aquaculturists in both official languages at the annual meetings of regional associations or other regional meetings.
  • To identify economically viable uses for the starfish harvested in order to recover the operating costs of control efforts.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2006 - 2006


Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary

Principal Investigator(s)

Monique Niles

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