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Evaluation of the risks associated with scallop spat transfer from the Magdalen Islands



Since 2003, a number of aquatic invasive species (AIS) have been observed in the Magdalen Islands: green alga Codium fragile ssp. tomentosoides in 2003, green crab Carcinus maenas and Japanese skeleton shrimp Caprella mutica in 2004, and more recently, golden star tunicate Botryllus schlosseri, which has been observed in several bodies of water in the Magdalen Islands since 2006. The lacy crust bryozoan Membranipora membranacea also occurs throughout the islands. Lastly, the vase tunicate Ciona intestinalis was observed at Cap-aux-Meules in 2006 and on a scallop shell in the Havre-aux-Maisons lagoon in 2008. Due to the significant ecological and economic impacts these species can have on ecosystems and cultured stocks, their presence in the Magdalen Islands and their introduction to other sites is a major concern to both industry and governments.

The objective of the project is to facilitate the acceptability of applications to transfer scallop spat from the Magdalen Islands to other regions by identifying undesirable species and testing the effectiveness of a cleaning protocol designed to reduce the risk of introduction of invasive species. It also seeks to develop the simplest, most effective risk assessment protocol that takes account of the measured effectiveness of the treatment (sorting and cleaning at the plant) on a graduated scale based on the frequency and characteristics of transfers. The project should make it possible to suggest improvements to the scallop spat sanitation and transfer protocol in order to adapt it to species other than the Japanese skeleton shrimp.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2009 - 2011


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

Principal Investigator(s)

Bernard Sainte-Marie

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