How it works
The Hatchery rears juvenile lobsters from the larvae hatched from local female lobster stock, known as “berried hens”. Collected daily and nurtured through larval stages they are released back to the sea when they have passed these early and most vulnerable stages of their development.
Working closely with local fishermen we pay them for their effort and have for the last two years ensured all the berried hens they provide us with are also released back into the sea through our sponsor a V-notch lobster scheme and grant aid from Sea-Changers.
As it can take five years or more for a female lobster to become able to produce eggs, which she can do so for an estimated forty years, we highlight to the public the potential risks of over fishing our UK lobster stock, especially females, and the effects this can have on future lobster numbers.
In the production container
Our production container consists of 16 larval pods and two aquahive towers filled with filtered sea-water pumped directly from the Firth of Forth, monitored and temperature controlled. Each days collection of larvae is collected and counted into a larval pod.
We nurture the larval lobsters feeding them a carefully monitored diet to ensure they receive enough nutrients to reach a stage 4 juvenile when we have to separate them as lobsters are cannibalistic and are now able to swim within the larval pod.
Ready to go back to Sea
Once they are ready to be released the juveniles spend time acclimatising to sea temperatures in a tank in our hen room. From there they are released back into the Firth of Forth by divers onto the sea floor or by technicians and volunteers into rock pools at low tide.