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Aquaculture potential of the basket cockle (Clinocardium nuttallii). Part 2: effects of stocking density and depth on second year grow-out performance of three size cohorts in intertidal and off-bottom suspended culture

Authors

  • Anya Dunham,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    • Centre for Shellfish Research, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
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    • Previously published as A. Epelbaum.

  • Helen Gurney-Smith,

    1. Centre for Shellfish Research, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    2. Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
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  • Nadia Plamondon,

    1. Centre for Shellfish Research, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
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  • Simon Yuan,

    1. Centre for Shellfish Research, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
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  • Christopher M Pearce

    1. Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    2. Marine Ecosystems and Aquaculture Division, Pacific Biological Station, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
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Correspondence: A Dunham, Marine Ecosystems and Aquaculture Division, Pacific Biological Station, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9T 6N7. E-mail: anya.dunham@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Abstract

We investigated the effects of culture mode (intertidal and off-bottom suspended culture) and initial stocking density (5%, 10%, 35% and 70% bottom cover) on survival, growth and condition indices of three size cohorts (16, 22 and 32 mm initial shell length) of the basket cockle, Clinocardium nuttallii, during a second year of grow-out. In addition, we evaluated the effects of depth (2, 4 and 6 m) in suspended culture. All size cohorts demonstrated significantly higher growth rates, soft-tissue biomass and condition indices in the off-bottom suspended system compared to the intertidal one. In suspended culture, however, C. nuttallii exhibited sub-optimal survival, shell deformities and heavy fouling. For all size cohorts, stocking density had a significant effect on most growth and condition parameters, except meat yield indices, in both culture modes. An initial maximum stocking density of 10% cover is recommended for all size cohorts. Culture depth did not have a consistent statistically significant effect on any of the growth or condition parameters. Depending on the grow-out scenario, stocking density and harvestable size chosen, the cumulative harvestable proportion after the second year of grow-out constituted 15.5–63.1% of the seed planted. Our results could be used to develop and improve culture techniques for C. nuttallii and other cockle species.

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