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Research and development
in aquaculture in Quebec

The Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP) is a Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) initiative that seeks to increase the level of collaborative research and development activity between the Canadian aquaculture industry and the Department, and in some cases, other partners. This industry-driven program teams industry investigators with DFO researchers. Depending on the project, the work is carried out at DFO research facilities or at the premises of industry partners.

Recently, four new projects received funding. These projects began last June and will be completed over two or three years.

Zoo-technical measures for the commercial rearing of Arctic Char
The domestication characteristics of the Arctic Char make it a species with high potential for aquaculture diversification in temperate and northern climates. The emergence of commercial production of this species has long been stymied by differences in growth rates and variations in the supply of juveniles of good quality and in sufficient numbers.

The principal objective of this project is to conduct a genetic characterization of the Nauyuk strain reared by Aquaculture Gaspésie inc. and to determine the best crosses to improve growth.

Project presented by Aquaculture Gaspésie inc., the Société de recherche et de développement en aquaculture continentale (SORDAC) and the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR).

Reducing the risk of introducing the invasive alga Codium fragile
The mussel farming industry in eastern Canada is largely based on the collection of spat in areas suitable for the settlement of larvae and the transfer of collected spat to growing sites. In eastern Quebec, this is typically done on a small scale. In recent years, however, a number of mussel farmers have applied for access to more distant transfer sites, known to be contaminated by an invasive green alga, Codium fragile ssp. These applications have been refused by the Introductions and Transfer Committee to prevent the introduction of this invasive alga into Gaspé Peninsula waters.

The proposed project will assess the effectiveness of various treatments at different stages in the Codium life cycle likely to be associated with mussel spat. The study could also potentially result in new ways of treating other aquatic invasive species and verify the effectiveness of procedures used for the sea scallop.

Project presented by the Société de développement de l’industrie maricole (SODIM) in collaboration with DFO.

Optimising hatchery-based sea scallop settlement
During the life cycle of bivalves, the pelagic larval stages end with settlement and metamorphosis. Settlement is a significant limiting factor in the success of scallop hatcheries: larval settlement and metamorphosis success rarely exceeds 25 to 30 percent. Metamorphosis in bivalves is accompanied by a change in the way the animals collect food, which limits the ability of larvae to feed while undergoing metamorphosis. For metamorphosis to be successful, this change must be completed rapidly.

The project seeks to increase settlement and metamorphosis success to obtain a settlement rate of over 60 percent.

Project presented by SODIM in collaboration with UQAR/ISMER (Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski) and DFO.

Brown alga (Saccharina longicruris) culture on the Gaspé Peninsula and the Magdalen Islands
Thanks to work done by the firm Les Gaspésiennes since 2006, a certain number of steps towards mastery of alga culture techniques have been completed. These results were obtained over the course of small-scale trials in Paspébiac on Chaleur Bay and as yet, it is not known if they can be reproduced at a larger scale or in other culture environments.

Given the interest in kelp culture expressed by Magdalen Islands mussel producers, the project proponents propose to continue work on S. longicruris culture to be able to better advise industrialists who might wish to try cultivating algae.

Project presented by SODIM, Moules de cultures des Îles, Les Gaspésiennes inc. and Halieutec in collaboration with DFO

Call for new projects

The period for submitting projects for Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP) funding is currently underway. It will continue until December 1, 2010 for projects beginning in April, 2011.

This program supports projects proposed by our aquaculture industry partners (aquaculturers or associations) by granting funding for cooperative research that is jointly funded. The industry is always required to contribute at least 30 percent of the total project cost, at least 7.5 percent of which must be a cash contribution. In each case, the amount the industry must ultimately provide is based on the ACRDP contribution.

To meet the selection criteria, a project must seek to improve the competitiveness of Quebec’s aquaculture industry and include the participation of an industry partner. You will find information about ACRDP at, in the Research and Monitoring Activities section on the Science page.

Information about the Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)

Charley Cyr