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Effect of skeleton shrimp populations on mussel spat recruitment using spat collectors



In 2003, mussel growers in the Carleton region reported unprecedented populations of skeleton shrimp on spat collectors and holding lines. This phenomenon appeared to be accompanied by relatively low spat collection rates. The purpose of this project is to determine whether skeleton shrimp are harmful to mussel culture. There are four key questions and research activities.

  1. Are skeleton shrimp associated with a decline in spat? Research will focus on mussel spat set density and skeleton shrimp biomass as a function of depth.
  2. Are skeleton shrimp predators or competitors of the spat? Are skeleton shrimp directly harmful to the spat? Studies will address the feeding behaviour of skeleton shrimp through stomach content analysis.
  3. What is the extent of the problem and how long does it take to develop? Researchers will investigate the biomass and size/age structure of existing skeleton shrimp populations as a function of depth and period in the season.
  4. What are the possible collector and line management measures? Studies will look at skeleton shrimp colonization and dispersal rates.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2004 - 2007


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

Principal Investigator(s)

Marcel Fréchette

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