FlowCam for Shellfish Aquaculture and Research

FlowCam for Shellfish Aquaculture and Research

Flow imaging microscopy (FIM) is a well-established technique for studying phytoplankton and other marine organisms. Thanks to its wide particle size range, the FlowCam 8000 Series is uniquely positioned to target both phytoplankton and shellfish larvae using a single instrument. FlowCam's ability to quickly count and measure particles across a wide size spectrum (whether those particles fluoresce or not, and whether they are alive or preserved) enables FlowCam users to accelerate aquaculture research operations in ways that have not previously been possible through microscopy alone.

FIM applications in shellfish aquaculture include:

PDF thumbnail - FlowCam application noteShellfish Reproduction

In shellfish hatcheries, it is essential to be able to quickly and reliably evaluate fertilization success rate, egg growth, and abnormalities. FlowCam is ideally suited to automatically image, count, measure, and characterize these shellfish eggs both pre- and post-fertilization. 

Shellfish Larvae

Tracking the growth and condition of shellfish larvae is a core function of any hatchery or shellfish research program. FlowCam enables the rapid count and analysis of larvae at several developmental stages to assess their viability.

Phytoplankton (Microalgae)

Researchers can use phytoplankton community composition and biovolume data to understand the fundamental building blocks of shellfish growth and to monitor the growth of the algae that shellfish feed on throughout their life cycle.


FlowCam is frequently used to analyze threats during the grow out process in native environments including invasive crab species like the European Green Crab.


Download our application note to learn the details of each of these applications, and hear about prominent scientists using FlowCam in their shellfish research.

Download the Application Note


Discover FlowCam in person, and learn more about the instrument's applications in shellfish aquaculture by connecting with us at one of our upcoming 2024 conferences:

Northeast Aquaculture Conference & Exposition (NACE)
January 10-12, Providence, Rhode Island
Attend our talk:
"Picture This: 24 Years of Flow Imaging Microscopy (FlowCam) in Shellfish Aquaculture"
Friday, January 12th 4:00 - 4:15 PM
Shellfish Aquaculture III
Bristol/Kent Meeting Room

National Shellfisheries Association Annual Meeting
March 17-21, Charlotte, North Carolina


Man with hands in shellfish reproduction tank

Pictured above: FlowCam user, Dr. Brian Beal, inspecting shellfish larvae at Maine's Downeast Institute

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