NSERC’s Awards Database
Award Details

Suitability of enhanced aquaculture feeds for commercial production of green sea urchin roe in a low-flow environment

Research Details
Application Id: 536872-2018
Competition Year: 2018 Fiscal Year: 2018-2019
Project Lead Name: Gagnon, Patrick Institution: Memorial University of Newfoundland
Department: Ocean Sciences Province: Newfoundland and Labrador
Award Amount: $12,500 Installment: 1 - 1
Program: Engage Plus Grants Program Selection Committee: Atlantic Internal Decision Committee
Research Subject: Animal nutrition and husbandry Area of Application: Aquaculture
Co-Researchers: No Co-Researcher Partners: Pêcheries Shipek
Award Summary

Pêcheries Shipek S.E.C. (PSSEC), a leader in commercial harvesting of key marine fish and shellfish species in**the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence (NGSL), recently completed collaborative research with Memorial**University of Newfoundland examining the suitability of a high-flow-through raceway containment system for**quick production of high volumes of green sea urchin roe. Results showed that the combined use of this system**and an advanced aquaculture feed can clearly achieve this goal. However, roe taste, and to a lesser extent color,**both varied with the consequence that a proportion of the roe produced was below standards for distribution on**international markets. The next logical step for PSSEC, therefore, is to test the suitability of enhanced versions**of the feed developed in the past few months. Because PSSEC also seeks to optimize its existing and**forthcoming facilities, it needs to test the feeds in other types of containment systems. The proposed follow-up**research will test the performance of three enhanced versions of the feed in a low-flow-through containment**system to help optimize the formulation of the feed, while minimizing the amount of water needed to maintain**proper environmental conditions for the urchins. We will carry out a feeding experiment in conical tanks with**pre-spawned urchins collected from the wild and exposed to the same optimal water temperature identified in**the previous research. Urchins will be fed with either of the three enhanced feeds. Urchins' physical state and**survival, as well as the amount of feed consumed, will be monitored weekly throughout. Roe yield and quality**will be assessed at the end of the experiment by a taste panel and with analysis of key biochemical compounds**affecting roe taste and color. Information gathered from this growing university-industry collaboration will be**used by PSSEC to examine the possibility of diversifying the range of species it provides to fishmongers, while**exporting a part of its own production directly to regional and international urchin roe markets.