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Dynamics, impact and control of epibionts on mussel spat collectors



This purpose of the proposed project is to expand the study of the impact of epibionts on mussel spat collection and growth by expanding the taxonomic and geographic scope of the work to include interactions between skeleton shrimp, hydrozoans and mussels at mussel culture sites in Cascapédia and Gaspé bays. The project will expand basic knowledge about these epibionts and will verify the effectiveness of new epibiont control protocols and, if applicable, will help develop criteria for determining whether "treatment" is worthwhile, based on a cost/benefit analysis, over time periods representative of mussel spat collection and socking operations.

The specific project objectives are to:

  1. Document the biology, ecology and spatial and temporal variability of the establishment of undesirable epibiont communities;
  2. Test the hypothesis of a negative effect of skeleton shrimp and hydrozoans on mussel spat collection and growth in the short term (intra-season) and in the long term (spat collection and socking) and quantify the impact;
  3. Verify the effectiveness of early brining in controlling epibionts and propose decision-making rules based on the impact and costs for various "infestation" thresholds;
  4. Verify the effectiveness of collectors mounted on longlines without anchor legs.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2007 - 2010


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

Principal Investigator(s)

Bernard Sainte-Marie

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