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Study on domoic acid poisoning in scallops in the Lower North Shore sector



There are two scallop culture operations on the Lower North Shore that sell their scallops whole. The first culture site is located in Baie au Saumon and the second is in Jacques Cartier Bay. In the last two years, sales of scallops from Baie au Saumon have fallen sharply following the detection of domoic acid in scallop flesh in concentrations that significantly exceed the standards. Project objectives:

  1. Identify the organism responsible for domoic acid poisoning in scallops in Baie au Saumon and at Pec-Nord Inc.'s scallop culture operation in Jacques Cartier Bay. Monitoring of the toxic phytoplankton will therefore be carried out during the culture period in conjunction with the monitoring of shellfish toxicity by the CFIA.
  2. Verify the spatial distribution of phytoplankton populations by monitoring toxic algae at a potential at-sea storage site for scallops located off Blanc-Sablon.
  3. Determine the physical and chemical variables of the culture site as well as the weather conditions and hydrodynamics. These variables will be used to analyse the causes of the spread of the toxic phytoplankton and retention of toxicity at the site.
  4. Test a line management strategy to prevent contamination of the scallops (example: sink or submerge the rearing structures).

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2006 - 2008


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

Principal Investigator(s)

Michael Scarratt

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