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Aquaculture innovation
in Quebec

Three Quebec projects will receive a total of $66,000 in federal funding to help them innovate their operations, boost their productivity and improve the economic performance of the enterprises receiving funding. This investment, through the Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (AIMAP), is in addition to the $141,000 announced last year for two other Quebec aquaculture projects.

Commercial-scale softshell clam grow-out operations

The softshell clam is a candidate species for aquaculture diversification in Quebec and on Canada’s East Coast. Softshell clam farming is in development and has been the subject of experimental research, especially on the Magdalen Islands. This project aims to apply the knowledge acquired to commercial production. More specifically, the goal is to raise juveniles by developing and testing two systems: a pre-grow-out system for tiny softshell clams and a system to protect them from their predators. 

Mechanization and automation of softshell clam spat-sorting operations

Softshell spat sorting remains one of the main technological obstacles keeping the emerging softshell clam industry in Quebec from becoming profitable. This project aims to equip the industry with an effective and affordable sorting concept that will significantly lower operating costs. After conducting an analysis of the current manual sorting procedure and the previous sorter design trials, the work team will proceed to design and manufacture a prototype that will be tested on the Magdalen Islands. A cost-benefit analysis of the use of the prototype will round out the work.

Cooked mussel meat production

The purpose of this project is to optimize the effectiveness of an automated pressure-cooking system for farmed mussels, taking into account product quality and production costs. The ability to produce cooked mussel meat at a competitive price will open the door for development of high-quality further-processed products. With these products, markets can be expanded while increasing the extent to which this species is developed. This will help reduce the competitive pressure on our businesses; it will also help consolidate our mussel farming industry.

The mariculture industry development corporation (Société de développement de l’industrie maricole – SODIM) and its regional partners will invest nearly $70,000 in these three projects.

Pierre Lauzier
Fisheries and Aquaculture Management