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Antifouling measures: Development of non-biocidal techniques for shellfish aquaculture (mariculture)

Mariculturists must deal with various issues including biofouling of gear and animals at aquaculture sites. In the Magdalen Islands, QC, biofouling organisms such as algae, bivalves, crustaceans, and other invertebrates colonize aquaculture structures. Most problematic are the non-native invasive species of tunicates, such as the golden star tunicate (Botryllus schlosseri). The tunicates will coat nets and structures, affecting their floatability, and even the cultured animals themselves, affecting the health, growth and productivity of the bivalves (oysters, scallops). Efforts to remove and control these biofouling organisms can have significant economic impacts for growers, and depending on a site’s location, antifouling measures can account for up to 20-30% of a producer’s operating costs.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is providing $65,000 to Merinov, a non-profit organization, to study new, non-toxic methods for effectively reducing biofouling organism colonization at shellfish aquaculture sites, particularly invasive tunicates. The project will test two approaches to help protect equipment and improve the health of cultured scallops and oysters including the application of non-biocidal treatments and use of natural competitors (periwinkle and hermit crab).

This project has the goal of improving the management of shellfish aquaculture site structures as well as the survival of the cultured species.

  • News Release: Fisheries and Oceans Canada has announced three research projects conducted in collaboration with partners to support the Quebec fishing industry and mariculture
  • Merinov

Project Number: QC2016.12
Year: 2016
Partner: Merinov
Principal Investigator(s): Estelle Pedneault
Eco-region: Quebec

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