About us

Who are we?

Ressources Aquatiques Québec (RAQ) is an inter-institutional group concerned with the sustainable development of the aquaculture and fisheries industries in Québec. It brings together some 40 Québec researchers who have a large network of collaborators at provincial, national, and international levels.

The regular members of RAQ are from nine academic institutions (Université du Québec à Rimouski [host institution]; Université Laval; Université de Montréal; Université de Sherbrooke; Institut national de la recherche scientifique [INRS], Armand Frappier Institute; École Polytechnique de Montréal; Université du Québec à Chicoutimi; Université du Québec à Montréal; and a college institution [Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles]); from provincial (Québec’s Ministère Forêts, Faune et Parcs) and federal (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) agencies; and from the Canadian Museum of Nature, Merinov, the Montreal Biodome, and the Centre de recherche sur les biotechnologies marines (CRBM) in Rimouski.

RAQ has been supported financially since 2006 by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) (Programme regroupements stratégiques). RAQ is the only inter-institutional group in Québec whose goal is to actively participate in the sustainable development of Québec's aquaculture and fisheries industries. It creates a forum that brings together Québec industry members and decision-makers specialized in freshwater and coastal systems, having expertise on fish and shellfish, and who are interested in biotechnology and the economic, legal, and ethical aspects of the field. The result has been the formation of a strong, interdisciplinary, inter-institutional association that is open to new innovations and that above all has a strong objective to aid in continuing development within the industries.

Annual report 2018-2019

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Research Program

To learn more about our research themes, see the complete 2020 RAQ Program.
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Aquaculture

Head: Céline Audet
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Increasing the productivity and sustainability of aquaculture enterprises requires advances in nutrition and disease control, genetic improvement, and production innovation. Our overall objectives related to the aquaculture theme are to:
  • Develop sustainable ways of protecting against disease;

  • Develop tools to help estimate the health status of organisms;

  • Increase knowledge about disease susceptibility;

  • Develop feeds that are better suited to the principles of circular economy;

  • Better define nutritional needs and digestive physiology;

  • Develop genomic resources to better understand the genetic basis of performance;

  • Support genetic improvement programs;

  • Identify gene networks associated with the expression of phenotypes of interest;

  • Improve our understanding of metamorphosis;

  • Improve production techniques.

With growing problems related to overexploitation, the return of certain species, and habitat degradation, it is crucial to acquire new knowledge. In that context, we have defined several objectives:

  • Characterize the diversity of exploited natural populations;

  • Define the spatial structure of populations and connectivity between habitats;

  • Document the ecological and physiological characteristics of each population;

  • Describe the state of populations and the quality of recreational fishing;

  • Provide scientific expertise to support eco-certification and product traceability;

  • Record the performance of young stages and recruitment success;

  • Examine the relative importance of sex-related growth dimorphism;

  • Measure the biological and socio-economic impacts of seeding;

  • Assess the effectiveness of new approaches to monitor populations, such as environmental DNA.


Fisheries

Head: Dominique Robert
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Processes

Head: Isabelle Marcotte
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This fundamental research theme integrates aquaculture and fisheries with the aim of using knowledge in concrete applications. Any development in applied sciences is based on sound fundamental knowledge. In this theme, we encourage the acquisition of knowledge required for the objectives identified in the Aquaculture and Fisheries themes. This theme is addressed through different objectives:
  • Determine the adaptive potential of different ontogenic stages in the context of global change;

  • Identify transgenerational impacts;

  • Increase our overall understanding of factors affecting the health status of organisms;

  • Develop integrative approaches to ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that facilitate the preservation of exploited species;

  • Develop innovative methods and processes for the development of molecules of interest.

The sustainable development of aquatic resources is challenging due to a societal imperative involving contrasting activities: exploitation and conservation. This research theme is based on the need to protect ecosystems that ensures food security while maintaining economic development. The complexity of sustainable development requires a multi-disciplinary framework. Our goals are:
  • Increasing the resilience of exploited ecosystems by integrating aspects of management methods, mitigation techniques, economic concerns, and stakeholder perception;

  • Identifying new alternative sources of ingredients for the diet of aquaculture species;

  • Innovation in the marketing of exploited species;

  • Increasing knowledge concerning interactions between environment and society, allowing governance that favours sustainable development.


Sustainability

Head: Steve Plante
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Organization

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