Developing the technology and improving the scientific knowledge needed for the sea-based culture of a novel aquaculture species, the European lobster, Homarus gammarus.
The initial Lobster Grower project began in 2014 to investigate the potential of using sea-based container culture (SBCC) systems as a low-carbon method of rearing lobsters with no feed costs. This project designed and developed a SBBC system specifically designed for nursery and on-growing of lobsters that could potentially be used to rear juvenile lobsters to a marketable size. The results and outcomes from Lobster Grower, such as setting up a marine licence for establishing a pilot-scale site, has lead directly into the second stage project, Lobster Grower 2 which started in February 2016.
Lobster Grower 2 has the following objectives:
- Investigate the potential to on-grow lobsters in sea-based container culture (SBCC) systems.
- Assess innovative anchoring/moorings systems which will be developed and used in conjunction with the new SBCC container design to develop optimum SBCC systems.
- Create the world’s first pilot-scale clawed lobster culture site. Over a 3-year period approximately 45,000 juvenile lobsters will be deployed in containers.
- Frequently monitor lobster growth, survival and health throughout the duration of the project.
- Investigate the environmental impact of the culture site.
- Assess the health and welfare status of cultured animals throughout the project.
- Produce an aqua-economic model to de-risk future investment in the lobster aquaculture sector.
- Road-map future barriers to development and highlight potential solutions.
- Establish an Industrial Steering Committee to help guide the project outputs and potential future of the industry streamlining the progression into follow up projects.