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 30 Quebec researchers who have a large network of collaborators at provincial, national, and international levels.

The regular members of RAQ are from eight 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.

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Research Program

RAQ's new scientific program is based on FAO's Blue Growth Initiative, the goal of which is to improve the sustainable management of aquatic living resources by reconciling use and conservation to attain economically, socially, and environmentally responsible development. Our scientific program is designed with the aim of providing innovative tools and the knowledge necessary to achieve the sustainable development of Quebec’s aquatic resources. Axes 1 and 2 include theoretical and practical developments related to the overall goal of implementing the sustainable development (axis 3) of our sectors of activity.
We work to acquire fundamental knowledge supporting our main research goals by studying different concepts:
  • Host–microbiota interactions using the holobiont approach;

  • Expertise in the omics (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics);

  • Adaptive capacity of exploited aquatic species (evolutionary biology, ecology, ecophysiology);

  • Molecules of interest based on new metabolomic approaches

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


Head: Céline Audet

Increasing the productivity and sustainability of aquaculture companies requires improvements in nutrition, disease control, and genetics as well as production innovations.

Based on the four fundamental concepts mentioned in the introduction, our overall objectives related to the aquaculture axis are as follows:

  • Develop sustainable ways of protecting against disease;

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

  • Increase knowledge concerning disease susceptibility;

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

  • Improve knowledge on nutritional needs and digestive physiology;

  • Support genetic improvement programs;

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

  • Improve our understanding of metamorphosis;

  • Improve production techniques.

To address the growing problems of overexploitation, the challenges associated with the return of certain species, and habitat degradation, it is crucial to gain new knowledge about fisheries ecosystems. Based on the four fundamental concepts mentioned above, our overall objectives related to the fisheries research axis are as follows:
  • Characterize the diversity of exploited natural populations;

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

  • Document the ecological and physiological characteristics of each population;

  • Gain knowledge to better plan for the impact of global change on exploited species;

  • Determine the performance of young stages and recruitment success;

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

  • Assess the effectiveness of new approaches to population monitoring.


Head: Dominique Robert

Innovative Applications from a Sustainable Development Perspective

Head: Isabelle Marcotte and Steve Plante

In the current context of optimized inventory management, food security, by-product enhancement, and environmental quality are all important concepts to consider. Our researchers are working to develop innovative applications to promote food sovereignty, transformative governance, and the responsible exploitation of aquatic resources from a sustainable development perspective.

The following objectives are grouped in this axis:

  • Propose solutions tailored to remote areas to ensure food security;

  • Provide innovative tools to improve the management of aquatic resources;

  • Propose innovative processes to develop by-products from Quebec's fisheries and aquaculture industries;

  • Study interactions and estimate the impacts of operating practices on the environment and human communities;

  • Provide innovative ways to mitigate environmental impacts related to exploitation by human communities.