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Development and optimizing commercial hatchery production techniques for the indigenous cockle (Clinocardium nuttalli)



There is significant interest in the commercial cultivation of the basket cockle within British Columbia as a result of several factors, including:

  1. its relatively fast growth rate,
  2. its ability to utilize various substrates, and
  3. its adaptation to grow and survive in the cold waters of the coast of BC and Alaska.

Cockles display a Type III survival curve, where levels of mortality are exponentially high during the larval, early post-larval, and juvenile phases. In contrast, the mortality of adults is generally low. The key to successful culture or enhancement, therefore, lies in the predictable production of high quality juveniles, which will survive further on-growing and/or out planting. Literature and patent searches that have been undertaken reveal very little published information available for the production of cockle seed. No published information was found about the culture of Clinocardium species. The few published studies that were found relating to other species of cockles were focused on short-term, experimental-scale trials, which are not applicable to our requirements. There is, therefore, a gap in the availability of information on the production and culture of juvenile basket cockles, which this project aims to fill. To successfully mass produce juvenile cockles consistently, the industry needs knowledge of the biotic and abiotic requirements of the early life stages. This will be the focus of this study.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2007 - 2008


Pacific: Vancouver Island West Coast

Principal Investigator(s)

Chris Pearce

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