Lobster at Orkney Shellfish Hatchery have hatched three months earlier than expected Photo: Orkney Shellfish HatcheryLobster at Orkney Shellfish Hatchery have hatched three months earlier than expected Photo: Orkney Shellfish Hatchery

Orkney Shellfish Hatchery, part of the Cadman Capital Group’s Aquaculture portfolio, has witnessed the successful hatching of its first European clawed lobsters for 2021, almost three months earlier than expected.

The hatchery announced its plans to trial the on-land production of lobster in September last year, with the expectation that its pilot run would complete around May 2021.

Dr Nik Sachlikidis, managing director of the Cadman Capital Group’s Aquaculture portfolio, said that operations at Orkney Shellfish Hatchery were 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,” he said.

“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 has used products from its sister company, Ocean On Land Technology, throughout the trial, including the Hatchery-in-a-Box concept – a containerised lobster hatchery system that can house and culture lobster from broodstock through to post-larvae.

European clawed lobster is the second species the hatchery will be producing on land in order to support restoration projects across Europe.

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