Orkney Shellfish Hatchery has successfully released 500 advanced lobster juveniles directly onto the seabed at the Churchill Barriers.
The release was supported by local diving school, Kraken Diving, whose expert divers executed the deployment on behalf of the hatchery.
The lobsters had been successfully raised on land at the hatchery from egg through to stage 6 and beyond using the proprietary Aquahive© system from Ocean On Land Technology© and, upon release, 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, therefore giving them the best chance of survival in the wild.
Commenting on the release, Dr Nik Sachlikidis, Managing Director at Orkney Shellfish Hatchery 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.”
The announcement comes after the hatchery shared news of its first successful release of native flat oyster spat last month, demonstrating another way in which it is actively campaigning to care for the local marine environment, as well as support the wider aquaculture agenda focused around aiding the restoration of Europe’s plummeting shellfish stocks.