Orkney Shellfish Hatchery (OSH) has announced the successful hatching of its first run of European clawed lobsters for 2021, almost three months earlier than initially expected. The land-based hatchery is raising lobsters to help replenish wild stocks.
The hatchery, part of the Cadman Capital Group’s Aquaculture portfolio, announced its plans to trial on-land production for lobsters in September last year, and said at the time that it expected the pilot run would complete around May 2021.
Dr Nik Sachlikidis, Managing Director of the Cadman Capital Group’s Aquaculture portfolio, commented: “Operations at Orkney Shellfish Hatchery continue to amaze us, consistently progressing at a far faster rate than anticipated. Having our lobster broodstock hatch larvae so early in the season allows the hatchery to culture juvenile lobsters from January through to November, an extension of four months when compared to the wild hatching season, which runs from March to September. This progression means that Orkney Shellfish Hatchery can now consistently produce far greater lobster numbers annually, substantially reducing capital overheads for the hatchery operation and providing much-needed clawed lobster product to restoration projects across Europe.”
The trial has made use of products from OSH’s sister company, Ocean On Land Technology, including the “Hatchery-in-a-Box” concept. This is a containerised lobster hatchery system that can house and culture lobster from broodstock through to the post-larvae stage.
OSH cultivates shellfish on land to replenish the UK’s seafood stocks, as well as supporting the global aquaculture industry. European clawed lobster is the second species the hatchery will be producing on land for restoration projects across Europe. OSH is already producing premium native oyster spat.