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Larval Culture Innovation


“Larval Culture Innovation – Lending a claw to lobster conservation” aims to improve the NLH’s ability to grow juvenile lobsters to enhancing our conservation outputs in terms of lobster stock enhancement. The aim is to improve larval survival rates in our lobster production systems.

Funding, provided by Sea-Changers, will allow the NLH to realise designs that have been born in house from over two decades of experience in culturing lobster. These innovations we aim to increase existing larval survival by as much as 100%, which if rolled out across our hatchery in a further phase of work, would allow the NLH to more than double the number of juvenile lobsters released per year, and offer huge advancements that could transform lobster stock enhancement practices around Cornwall and lobster mariculture worldwide.

This project will build a prototype lobster larval rearing vessel based on an innovative design created by the NLH through several years of work which has used skills and expertise of not only the NLH staff but also Falmouth University. The research team is confident that this new innovative culture vessel design will have a positive impact on larval survival but without testing it, they will not know to what extent. A second phase of the project will evaluate the design in comparison to the current rearing vessels used in lobster rearing. Once such proof of concept has been achieved, the NLH will be seeking further funding to roll out the vessels across the NLH hatchery and offer the product to support other lobster conservation initiatives.