Effect of mussel culture on long-term condition of rock crabs and lobsters
In suspended mussel culture, mussels may fall from farm structures that, with the physical farming structure added to an area, may attract a variety of predators and scavengers like lobsters and rock crabs. Little is known of how mussel farms may impact fisheries species through ecological effects, altered fisheries productivity, distribution, or catchability. In particular, it is unclear whether farms simply attract individuals to an area, or whether the abundance of food available (mussels, and aggregated prey) at farms alter stock productivity. This project will conduct a long-term laboratory experiment to investigate the effects of various diets that simulate the food available at mussel farm sites on the ecological and physiological performance of rock crabs and American lobsters. In addition, we propose to use the laboratory data to build population models that will allow for projecting trajectories of our experimental populations over several generations. The results are designed to inform managers on the interaction and effect of mussel culture on commercial fisheries.
Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)
Research scientist, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Mont-Joli, QC
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