Characterization of seabed environments suitable for bottom seeding of sea scallops, Placopecten magellanicus, in the Magdalen Islands
Bottom culture is a culture technique that involves directly seeding the ocean bottom with scallops. The characteristics of the seabed are critically important in ensuring high scallop survival and growth rate. Seeding site selection is therefore a determining factor in the success of commercial seeding operations. The evaluation of potential seeding sites has been the subject of a number of efforts since 1992 in the Magdalen Islands, more specifically the Chaîne-de-la-Passe fishing grounds. However, insufficient knowledge has been acquired to precisely guide the site selection decisions of Pétoncles 2000 (P2000), or any other proponent interested in developing bottom culture of scallops. Other potential sites were identified by P2000 in 2001. However, prior to obtaining leases for the sites, the proponent must assess their scallop culture potential. Sites suitable for sea scallop seeding in the Magdalen Islands must therefore be accurately inventoried on a urgent basis in order to support this growth industry.
The project consists of mapping as accurately as possible Pétoncles 2000's aquaculture area (Chaîne-de-la-Passe) on the basis of substrate type and predator abundance and in identifying and characterizing three other potential seeding sites (Millerand, Pointe du Ouest and Fond du Sud-Ouest). Hydroacoustic surveys will be conducted using multibeam and RoxAnn techniques. Particle size samples and video recordings will be also be gathered.
2001 - 2003
Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary
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