🇬🇧

Homegrown lobster: the key to sustainable fishing?

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 7, 2019 - Duration: 01:30s

Homegrown lobster: the key to sustainable fishing?

Scientists on the United Kingdom's southwest coast believe they may have the answer to sustainably fishing lobster.

By hatching lobster eggs on-shore then rearing them in sea-based containers, the 'Lobster Grower Project' aims to ensure a sustainable population of the animals - a ready supply for the seafood market.

Gracie Jerome reports.

Advertisement

Homegrown lobster: the key to sustainable fishing?

These tens of thousands of baby lobsters could be the answer to the red crustacean's declining population.

That's the hope of scientists on the UK's southwest coast, who say they're the first to grow large numbers of European lobster suitable for release into the wild.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DR CARLY DANIELS, PRODUCTION, SCIENCE AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT THE UK NATIONAL LOBSTER HATCHERY: "This is one of our female lobsters, you can see all the eggs under the tail.

Each one of these eggs produces a larvae, and it's those larvae that we rear up through their early vulnerable stages and then normally we release them back into the wild.

But what we've developed is a system that can on-grow them to slightly larger sizes than what we can do here in the hatchery A female lobster can carry up to 40,000 eggs, but most won't survive in the wild.

And if they do - traditional fishing methods rely on them wandering into cages on the sea floor.

Here at the Lobster Grower Project, after they're hatched on-shore they're taken out to sea in containers and reared in a space safe from predators...and each other.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DR CARLY DANIELS, PRODUCTION, SCIENCE AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT THE UK NATIONAL LOBSTER HATCHERY: "The system that we've developed as part of the lobster grower project has great potential for use in stock enhancement initiatives, such as the National Lobster Hatchery.

But it also has great potential for aquaculture of the species; so rearing lobsters through to a marketable size that can then be sold into the market." With demand far outweighing supply for the UK's most valuable seafood, lobster is vulnerable to a stock collapse.

Scientists in Cornwall hope their new discovery will help keep it on the menu.

You are here

You might like