Program type
Regional - National

People involved

Acoustic impacts of ship traffic on the mussels and scallops of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence


The notion of multiple stress is clearly emphasized in attempts to interpret biological imbalances in coastal ecosystems. The ecophysiological and ecotoxicological approaches are a useful tool for the vulnerability of essential coastal ecosystems species, like the molluscs. In addition to their ecological role, some species are widely exploited and have a commercial interest for fisheries and aquaculture, such as the giant scallop, Placopecten magellanicus and the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis. Their life history with a complex developmental stages, including dispersive planktonic larvae combined with the greater sensitivity of these early stages, contribute to the potential population imbalances. Acoustic impacts associated with marine transport are known on mammals and fish, but there is a clear knowledge lack of marine invertebrates, particularly bivalve. As maritime transport is expected to develop strongly in the coming decades with the opening of new shipping routes in the Arctic and with the development of ports, defining their impacts is important, not only at the biological level, but also at the economic and legal levels. These impacts will be measured in the model port of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon by quantifying maritime traffic, trophic conditions, environmental, ecotoxicological and acoustic characteristics and related to the performance of the different ontogenetic stages of scallops and mussels. The results will be validated by fine laboratory experiments to quantify the effect of identified factors and their interaction.