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Broodstock Development of the Indigenous Cockle in BC



There is significant interest in pursuing commercial aquaculture of the indigenous cockle Clinocardium nuttalli, in BC due its ability to occur in diverse habitats from sand/gravel to mud environments within both the intertidal and shallow subtidal regions. It also has value as a traditional food among local First Nations. A consistent supply of high quality seed is a prerequisite for a successful cockle aquaculture industry and the development of broodstock is key to ensuring the availability of consistent high quality seed. To establish the optimal conditioning methods for cockles, the relationships between biotic and abiotic factors (such as temperatures, food type, food concentration, etc)) and gonad maturation needs to be studied. Before research into commercial cockle production systems can begin, it is necessary to understand the factors influencing broodstock maturation and to develop standard operating procedures to ensure the consistent production of high quality gametes from maturation systems.

To this end, our objectives for the project are as follows:

  • To determine the optimal feeding rates and feed items for conditioning basket cockle broodstock.
  • To evaluate the influence of temperature on metabolic rate of adult cockles at temperatures between 5℃ and 30℃.
  • To establish the Biological Zero Point (BZP) and the Effective Accumulative Temperatures (EATs) for gonad maturation in the basket cockle
  • To establish the optimal physical requirements to achieve successful fertilization rates.
  • To provide cockle seed to partner companies for research into commercial seeding strategies for optimum production (future research proposals are planned to support this work).

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2005 - 2007


Pacific: Vancouver Island West Coast

Principal Investigator(s)

Chris Pearce

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