Categories: Canadian Lobsters, Shellfish Tanks520 words2 min read

Tips for changing from Canadian lobsters to UK natives in your Lobster Tank


Errin Todd


March 20, 2017


Many of our customers store Canadian lobsters in their Lobster Tanks and Lobster Pods during winter.

The UK lobster fishery is very quiet during winter.  Smaller boats come on land for maintenance as the weather means that it is rarely safe enough for them to fish.  Many lobster fishermen will change to other species e.g. whelks or surf clams.  The lobsters move off to deeper waters.  This means fewer lobsters are caught and the prices go through the roof.  The prices charged from December to March can be about 2.5 times the Summer price. As a result a merchant with storage tanks may decide that Canadian lobsters are worth buying in winter.

If you are considering buying Canadian lobsters please read our blog on the problems associated with holding Canadians here:

This blog is to help those customers who have been storing Canadian lobsters and are now cleaning and preparing their systems in anticipation of the start of the main UK native lobster fishing season.

If you have had any problems e.g. disease or unidentified mortalities then please notify your local fisheries officer and follow their advice.  Do not attempt to store native lobsters in your system if this is the case.

How to clean and prepare your lobster tank for native lobsters (after storing Canadians):

  • Once you have sold your last Canadian lobster drain and discard of all of the seawater.

  • Remove any waste, debris, slime or bits of lobster completely.  Use a towel or cloth cleaned in seawater with no chemicals on it or some kitchen roll or blue roll.

  • Wipe around any pipe inlets and top of the tanks if they are very slimy or dirty.  Some algae is beneficial to the system so try not to overclean.

  • Fill your system with fresh seawater and flush the system out again.

  • Take care not to let the moving bed bioreactor media dry out as this will be harmful to the beneficial bacteria which grow on these.

  • Ideally change the ultra-violet sterilser bulb and air stone in the protein skimmer.

  • Fill with fresh seawater.

  • Test the water before you add any stock and check whether it is within optimum parameters.

  • Test the water again once you add new lobsters regularly and only add new stock once your ammonia reading is 0.

Our systems can handle the challenges thrown at them by storing Canadian lobsters.  Many of our customers would prefer to only stock native UK lobsters and now may be the time to consider extending your systems to have enough capacity to buy lobsters when the price is low over the Summer months and store them over the winter.  This will mean a stable supply for your customer of quality, native lobsters and also the opportunity for you to increase your profitability as the price increases.

If you would like any more advise or need to purchase new bulbs, air stones or water test kits please call Laura on Tel 01383 820685.  If you want to discuss purchasing a new Lobster Tank or Lobster Pod please give me a call.

Best Fishes,


Tel 01383 820685 / 829800