Principal Investigator - Prof. Gavin Burnell (Emeritus)
Shellfish aquaculture R&D at the AFDC encompasses a wide range of species of commercial importance in Europe through the hatchery and ongrowing stages of culture. Species of interest include scallops, mussels, periwinkles, clams, sea urchins and oysters. Researchers have been active in such areas as hatchery and cage design, diet formulation, stress indicators (behavioural, biochemical and physiological), transport techniques, husbandry protocols, toxic algal blooms and biofouling of nets and animals. Work has also involved resource and risk assessment of shellfish seed collection for the aquaculture industry and shellfish restoration of beds.
Current bivalve shellfish aquaculture at the AFDC is centred on the scientific and technical development of mussel and scallop culture. In addition to the optimisation of mussel seed production for use in the aquaculture industry, other areas of interest include shellfish broodstock conditioning, using live or bioencapsulated algae, and parental influence on subsequent larval growth and metamorphosis. Looking towards the future, research will focus on the design and performance of recirculation systems and the enhancement of genetic identifications of shellfish larvae. Team members have expertise in biological, pharmaceutical, engineering, biochemical and microbiological disciplines.