We have been running a lobster hatchery at our base in Fife for our customers this summer.
A lobster hatchery helps to ensure our fishery is sustainable by raising the baby lobsters through the vulnerable larval and early juvenile stages then releasing them back to sea when they have the best chance of survival. This increase their chances from 1 in 10,000 surviving until adulthood to an 11% survival. Our hatchery has been used by customers of our sister company Todd Fish Tech which supplies the systems for holding shellfish. These fishermen and merchants want to do something to help their local fishery and know sustainability is core to their business. We take the berried female lobster (called that because the eggs under her tail look like little berries) and place her in our maternity tank. We keep each female separate to ensure they are not stressed and can ensure we do not mix up the different genetic strains. We believe keeping the genetic diversity is important as we know, for emample, that East and West coast of Scotland lobsters are different. They mature at different rates (5 years for West coast lobsters and 7 years for those on the East) and have different habitats, diet and temperature tolerance.
Once the baby lobsters hatch they are placed into our larval kreisel tanks to keep them moving. This is their most vulnerable stage. Once they have moulted their shell three times they look like mini versions of their parent. At this stage they settle on the tank floor and we move them to our juvenile tanks. They each have their own compartment and are fed twice daily. We use a varied diet of krill, copepods, shellfish pellet food, mysis and artemia. Once they are large enough they can be released.
The Argyll fisherman who supplied this summer’s berried females is our first supplier of lobsters for sale. We’ve tasted his shellfish and it is unrivalled. He stores it in a system built by us to ensure it is premium quality. We choose only the best for our customers.
If you would like to reserve some of this first catch then please call Errin on Tel 01383 820685.
A juvenile lobster in our hatchery
Lobster Hatchery Kreisel Larval Tank.
Lobster Hatchery Juvenile Lobster Tank