One of the key technical barriers to lobster stock enhancement and re-stocking is unstable production of post larval (PL) lobsters in the hatchery itself. Being able to produce consistent results across multiple seasons has been a longstanding production bottleneck for lobster stocking programmes. A meeting of lobster stocking and aquaculture experts from around Europe at a European Lobster Centre of Excellence (ELCE) meeting in Norway, 2015 focussed on identifying the barriers slowing further development. Stabilisation of PL production was identified as the number one issue faced by all of the organisations present. The Lobster Cultivator project will continue the work that the charity has been undertaking over the past 15 years in this area and take both a problem solving and tool development approach to creating solutions that will have both an immediate and long term impact. This project is a direct response to problems experienced by producers across Europe and is entirely solution focussed. The findings of the project will be published in scientific journals and presented to the audiences where it can have the greatest impact.
There are three raw materials involved in PL production: 1) Eggs, 2) Feed & 3) water. Identifying criteria for standardisation across these three raw materials and understanding the impact of deviating from these standards is the key to creating production stability; which will in turn enable producers to consistently stock at a required level. This two-year research project will take a two pronged approach: focusing on solving immediate problems as they appear and concurrently developing a set of tools to be used by operators to stabilise production.
This project has been kindly funded by The Waterloo Foundation, The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers and the National Lobster Hatchery