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Ageing of Northern Shrimp in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

The Northern Shrimp Research Foundation received $25,000 from Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Partnership Fund in 2016 to support the research of shrimp expert, Dr. Raouf Kilada. Dr. Kilada looks shrimp in the eye to learn their age. He devised a technique of determining the age of crustaceans by counting the bands on calcified structures that are retained during moulting, such as the eye stalk of shrimp. This project uses the method to investigate the age-at-size of Northern Shrimp (of varying sizes and maturities) collected from Northwest Atlantic Ocean (Shrimp Fishing Areas 2 and 4-6) off the island of Newfoundland. The annual mean size of Northern Shrimp fluctuates, and this varies by shrimp fishing area. A direct method for age determination in crustaceans would allow us to investigate the temporal and spatial change, if any, of age-at-size of the same species. Currently, it is unknown whether changes in the mean size of this commercial species are associated with changes in the mean age of the species. Expected outcomes of the project include training of technicians in the technique; an investigation of the spatial and temporal distribution effect on the growth of Northern Shrimp, and an investigation of the potential of applying age information in stock assessments of Northern Shrimp in order to improve stock management, and learning more biological information. Knowledge from the project has future applicability to other crustacean species in other locales, and it will provide a foundation for other ageing research.

Project Number: NL2016.17
Year: 2016
Partner: Northern Shrimp Research Foundation
Principal Investigator(s): Raouf Kilada
Eco-region: Gulf and Estuary of the St. Lawrence, Atlantic

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