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Impact of physical and biological variables on burrowing time in soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria)



There is currently considerable interest in soft-shell clam (Mya arenaria) culture in Quebec despite the fact that still very little is known about its potential. Seeding is an important step in the development of "clam culture". There are a number of factors that can directly or indirectly affect seeding success and, ultimately, the viability of the activity. Seeding carried out under non-optimal conditions can result in substantial clam losses (displacement or mortality), significantly reducing harvesting success. Little research has been conducted on the parameters that affect the burrowing time of seeded burrowing organisms. Yet, this parameter is a determining factor in seeding success since, after being set out, soft-shell clams must burrow into the substrate. The information obtained in this study will be used to identify the conditions before (storage and handling) and during soft-shell clam seeding that are favourable to rapid burrowing and, as a result, promote their maintenance on site and survival in order to develop seeding strategies that contribute to the viability of clam culture operations and the potential development of this activity in Quebec. The aspects that will be studied include: clam size, seeding density, substrate type, water temperature, current velocity, period of the year and stresses due to pre-seeding storage conditions.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2001 - 2004


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

Principal Investigator(s)

Sylvie Brulotte

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