Date of Award
Rachel Lasley-Rasher PhD
aquaculture, Atlantic sea scallop, larval density
As markets for the Atlantic Sea scallop are growing, the need for sustainable and reliable harvesting methods such as aquaculture is more imperative than ever. Due to the difficulty of maintaining sea scallop hatcheries, scallop farmers typically collect larvae from the ocean and raise them until a marketable size on lease sites. In order to efficiently collect scallop larvae, being able to predict when the larvae are most abundant in the water column is crucial. The goal of our research was to learn when scallop larvae are most abundant in the water column and to determine if there is a relationship between environmental factors and relative abundance. Water samples were collected off the coast of Cape Elizabeth, Maine over the course of four weeks and analyzed to determine the density of scallop larvae. During water sampling, sonde data was also collected in order to compare scallop larvae density to environmental data such as temperature, chlorophyll concentration, and salinity. A large spike in larvae density was observed on October 12th, followed by a decline in the following weeks. However, peak larval abundance did not correlate with any of the environmental variables measured in the field. These results suggest that larval abundance is perhaps influenced more strongly by adult spawning dynamics or hydrodynamic forcing.
Haskell, Hannah; Evangelista, Britney; and Loftis, Alex, "Quantifying Atlantic Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) Larval Abundance throughout Cape Elizabeth, Maine" (2019). Thinking Matters Symposium. 195.