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Monitoring of environmental conditions on salmon sites of the Fortune Bay area and effects of hypoxia on the physiology of Atlantic salmon



The recent developments of salmon aquaculture on the south coast of Newfoundland are promising industrial and socioeconomic growth for the rural areas. The expansion of the aquaculture industry outside Bay d'Espoir to include Fortune Bay and Placentia Bay will impose fish husbandry challenges to the industry. Current knowledge indicates environmental differences between Bay d'Espoir and Fortune Bay in terms of water column stratification, uniformity of water temperature and lower dissolved oxygen (DO) levels, especially during late July and August. The project will bring valuable information on:

  • The environment where fish are grown by providing biological and environmental time series in the Fortune Bay area where aquaculture is expanding rapidly. We will be measuring water currents, oxygen, temperature, and salinity starting on sites where low dissolved oxygen has been observed. Relevant correlations will be identified with aims to determine ‘cause and effect'.
  • Fish physiology by evaluating stress levels and immune responses of cultured fish exposed to hypoxia. Therefore, in vitro and in vivo experiments will be conducted in the laboratory to investigate general health responses of farmed fish under similar conditions as those measured in the field. In addition, health evaluation will be conducted on farmed fish sampled on site times of hypoxic events This fish health assessment will encompass evaluation of cell immunity, stress levels, appetite regulation and general physiological status using tools such as flow cytometry and real-time PCR.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2008 - 2010


Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves

Principal Investigator(s)

Dounia Hamoutene

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