First native oysters introduced at Orkney hatchery

Orkney Shellfish Hatchery has moved the first of its native flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) broodstock from an offsite quarantine area to its hatchery, progressing its plans to produce the species on land.

Located at Lamb Holm, Orkney Shellfish Hatchery is a commercial multispecies shellfish hatchery that provides seafood products including oyster spat, European lobsters, microalgae, and nutritional solutions to the aquaculture industry. It is part of the Cadman Capital Group’s aquaculture division.

To integrate oyster culture into its operations, and in addition to strict movement protocols, the broodstock wastewater is treated with a three-step process of micro-filtration, followed by ultraviolet filtration and chlorination/neutralization to kill potential pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. 

A secondary wastewater filtration system, designed to treat all of the hatchery’s wastewater for potential pathogens before discharge, is being built and will be installed and commissioned in the coming months.

“The operations team is busy making the switch from construction into production, and we are working hard to achieve our first spat production of native oysters," Cadman Capital Group Aquaculture Division Managing Director Nik Sachlikidis said. "The arrival of our first native oyster broodstock is an important milestone and has the whole group excited. It also opens the door to the culture of other target species, such as lobsters, later this year. Exciting times ahead in Orkney."

The hatchery said that while the movement and handling of aquatic animals can be stressful, its broodstock oysters have been feeding well, and clearing more than 80 percent of their feeds overnight, which is an indication that they have settled into their new system. 

Its broodstock oysters will now be fed a mixed diet of live algae harvested from the two large photo-bioreactors at the hatchery, providing the nutrition required for spawning and generating healthy oyster spat.


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