Orkney Shellfish Hatchery successfully hatched its first run of European clawed lobsters for 2021, a progression that has been achieved almost three months earlier than initially expected.
The hatchery, which is located in Orkney, Scotland, announced its plans to trial the on-land production of the species in late September of last year, with the expectation that its pilot run would complete around May 2021.
Commenting on the accelerated rate at which the trial has progressed, Nik Sachlikidis, managing director of the Cadman Capital Group’s Aquaculture portfolio, said that “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 November, an extension of four months when compared to the wild hatching season, which runs from March through 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 hatchery is utilizing products from its sister company, Ocean On Land Technology, throughout the trial, including the ground-breaking Hatchery-in-a-Box concept - a containerized lobster hatchery system that can house and culture lobster from broodstock through to post-larvae.
More than just a commercial shellfish production facility, Orkney Shellfish Hatchery is committed to the efficient and sustainable practice of cultivating shellfish on land in order to replenish the UK’s seafood stocks, as well as support the global aquaculture industry.
European clawed lobster is set to be the second species the hatchery will be producing on land in order to support restoration projects across Europe, as it continues to successfully produce and provide runs of premium native oyster spat.