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Brown alga culture trials on the Gaspé Peninsula and the Magdalen Islands. Pre-industrial scale-up of an open-water and semi-enclosed mussel farm



Thanks to work done since 2006 by Les Gaspésiennes, certain steps towards mastery of alga culture techniques have been completed. These include artificial induction of sporogenesis, gametophyte culture in vitro, routine production of 2-mm plants in four weeks, maintenance of cultures below the surface to protect against drifting ice and unfavourable surface layer conditions in the summer, and transfer of sea plants in late autumn to obtain plants with a yield of 2 to 4.5 kg of humid air in early July. These results were obtained during small-scale trials in Paspébiac on Chaleur Bay but as yet, it is not known if they can be reproduced on a larger scale or in other culture environments. Given the interest in kelp culture expressed by Magdalen Islands mussel producers, it is proposed to continue work on Saccharina longicruris culture to be able to better advise industrialists who might wish to try cultivating algae.

This project examines the following questions:

  1. Are culture yields measured in 2008–2009 reproducible in 2010–2011?
  2. Are small-scale yields (1 50-m longline) reproducible on a pre-industrial scale?
  3. Are the yields obtained on a small semi-exposed culture site in an open environment reproducible in the Magdalen Islands lagoons?
  4. When is the best time to water plants?
  5. Will algae grown in the Magdalen Islands lagoons be colonized by the bryozoa Membranipora membranacea ?
  6. What changes have to be made to grow kelp on a mussel farm?
  7. What are the production costs for hatchery plants and how much time does work associated with aquaculture operations take?

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2010 - 2011


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

Principal Investigator(s)

Louise Gendron

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