Orkney Shellfish Hatchery (OSH) has announced the release of its first stock of land-raised European clawed lobster juveniles into the ocean.

The release, which saw 500 of the hatchery’s advanced lobster juveniles deployed directly onto the seabed at the Churchill Barriers in Orkney, Scotland, was supported by local diving school, Kraken Diving.

The lobsters had been successfully raised on land at the hatchery from egg through to stage 6 and beyond using the Aquahive© system from Ocean On Land Technology©.

On release, they measured up to 45mm in size (from claw tip to end of tail). Juvenile lobsters of this size are considered more robust than in earlier stages, the hatchery said, therefore giving them the best chance of survival in the wild.

Dr Nik Sachlikidis, Managing Director at OSH, said: “We are excited about the first release of our European clawed lobster juveniles and are extremely proud of the progress that both Callum, our lead lobster hatchery technician, and the hatchery team has made.

“We are pleased to play our part in maintaining and replenishing native lobster stocks in the local waters and this release is a clear demonstration of how we aim to support the valuable local fishery. I’d also like to extend a huge thanks to the Kraken Diving, Orkney team, who we look forward to working with again on upcoming, larger lobster releases.”

Last month OSH carried out its first successful release of native flat oyster spat, another of the restoration projects it is involved with.

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