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Effect of mussel culture on catchability of rock crabs and lobsters



Interactions between mussel aquaculture and the benthic community are complex. Suspended mussel culture may attract a variety of predatory and scavenging species with the number of mussels that fall from culture structures or the physical farming structures themselves. Few scientific studies have addressed how such changes may have bottom-up effects that impact fisheries species. Impacts may include not only ecological effects, but also effects on fisheries due to altered productivity, distribution, and/or catchability of target species. Indeed, it is widely perceived by fishers that lobsters and crabs congregate in aquaculture sites and may become more difficult to catch as they feed on an abundant mussel supply and become less attracted to baited traps. This project will examine the catchability of lobsters and crabs within and around mussel culture sites to evaluate their availability to the fishery, providing scientific information to inform managers about the influence of mussel culture sites on lobster and crab distribution and their catchability for use in evaluating requests for new mussel farms.





Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)



Principal investigators

David Drolet
Research scientist, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Mont-Joli, QC

Chris McKindsey
Research scientist, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Mont-Joli, QC

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