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Orkney Lobster Hatchery
Lobster Hatchery  

Orkney Lobster Hatchery began in 1985 and now releases over 60,000 juvenile lobsters annually, and is working to create a sustainable lobster fishery around the Orkney Isles. In 2002 the hatchery was rebuilt, and through its innovative design has become the most successful lobster hatchery in Europe.

In 2006 Orkney Sustainable Fisheries took over the management and funding of the hatchery

The Future

Orkney Sustainable Fisheries is continuing its successful partnership with local fisheries innovation company, North Bay Shellfish (NBS).  Directors of NBS, Dennis Gowland and Richard Land have been central to the development of the hatchery in the last 7 years – and they have committed to future close collaboration with further innovations.

NBS have designed the new lobster ‘Aquahive’ and will be operating at least 3 prototype units, within the Orkney Lobster Hatchery in the latter part of this (2007) season.  The three ‘Aquahive’ units (with a floor space of less than 1 sq metre) will rear as many stage 6-7 juveniles as the rest of the current post-larval rearing room.  Thus capacity will rise from 13,600 spaces to 28,000 spaces.  As each space can be used up to 4 times in a season (May – November) the total production capacity will rise from 55,000 to 112,000.

The annual capacity of the hatchery would be expected to rise to 1.2 million juveniles (stage 7) if the prototype ‘Aquahives’ are successful and fitted in place of the existing system.

Saturday, July 17, 2010 Orkney Lobster Hatchery all photos copyright Dennis Gowland