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Shortening the reproductive cycle of spotted wolffish by manipulating the photoperiod and monitoring the cycle by measuring the levels of the steroids estradiol and 11-ketotestosterone and the female egg protein vitellogenin



The spotted wolffish (Anarhichas minor) has been identified as an excellent candidate for diversification of Quebec aquaculture. The importance of wolffish for aquaculture in Quebec was confirmed at a meeting of marine aquaculture stakeholders held in Gaspé in November 2004. The species has many advantages - a high growth rate at low temperatures and no larval stage (juveniles can thus be fed solid food after hatching). However, a general constraint to the development of new species for aquaculture is the lack of a large number of eggs and juveniles. Development of a wolffish culture industry will be facilitated by reducing the reproductive cycle, which will lead to an increase in the production of juveniles.

The purpose of this study is to reduce the maturation and spawning cycle of a population of wolffish by manipulating the photoperiod.

A number of studies have shown that manipulating the photoperiod shortens the reproductive cycle in fish. Manipulating the annual photoperiod cycle is a highly effective technique for inducing maturation and spawning at various times during the year (for example, with cod). The maturation cycle of the individuals will be monitored by measuring the sex steroids (estradiol, testosterone and/or 11 ketotestosterone) and the egg protein vitellogenin.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2005 - 2008


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

Principal Investigator(s)

Robert Roy

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