19 August 2020

Orkney Shellfish Hatchery, which forms part of the Cadman Capital Group’s Aquaculture Division has today announced its plans to produce Native Flat Oysters on land, as it completes the first translocation of native flat oyster broodstock from its offsite quarantine area, to its hatchery.

Located at Lamb Holm, Orkney Shellfish Hatchery is a multispecies shellfish hatchery, designed to provide premium seafood products including oyster spat, European lobster, microalgae and nutritional solutions to the aquaculture industry.

Biosecurity now plays an increasingly important role in the production of shellfish in industry best-practise hatcheries. These important measures control the movement and spread of harmful biological agents both within the hatchery and between the hatchery and the surrounding environment.

Orkney Shellfish Hatchery implements strict movement protocols within the hatchery and provides specialist equipment for its team. Additionally, broodstock wastewater is treated with a three-step process of micro-filtration followed by ultraviolet filtration and chlorination/neutralisation to kill potential pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. Together, these measures integrate successful oyster culture with the safeguarding of the surrounding waters.

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. This will add a further level of biosecurity and will complement the very stringent incoming seawater treatment measures already in place.

Dr Nik Sachlikidis commented: “The Orkney Shellfish Hatchery facility is first rate and, thanks to the efforts of Dr Matthew Johnston and the team, has put us in a strong position to successfully culture a range of species. 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. 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.”

While the movement and handling of aquatic animals can be stressful, the hatchery’s broodstock oysters are feeding well, clearing >80% of their feeds overnight and indicating that they have settled into their new system.

The 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.

More than just a commercial shellfish production facility, Orkney Shellfish Hatchery is committed to the efficient and sustainable practise of cultivating shellfish on land, in order to replenish the UK’s seafood stocks, as well as support the global aquaculture industry.