04 March 2021

Northampton, UK (04 March 2021) – Ocean On Land Technology®, which forms part of the Cadman Capital Group’s Aquaculture portfolio, has successfully installed two of its state-of-the-art systems to support the processes of the UK’s first native oyster restoration research hatchery.

Ocean On Land Technology’s Oyster Broodstock System and Juvenile Rearing Unit will form a core part of operations at the Solent Oyster Restoration Hatchery – a new, purpose-built facility, which has been developed through a partnership between Blue Marine Foundation and the University of Portsmouth.

The facility, which is located on the University’s Institute of Marine Sciences campus, will be used to rear juvenile native oyster spat, with the aim of giving the juveniles the kickstart they need when deployed on the seabed, as part of vital oyster restoration efforts within the local area. Researchers at the University will be undertaking trials to maximise the larval production, survival and settlement, while gaining more of an understanding of transmission pathways for disease-causing pathogens to minimise their impact.

Jacob Kean-Hammerson, Restoration Projects Manager at the Blue Marine Foundation commented: “The installation of this hatchery represents a step-change for the restoration of native oysters in the Solent and further afield. The oysters reared in this hatchery will be used to reseed the Solent for many years, scaling up restoration efforts and helping to see the previously abundant oysters populations flourish once more”.

Dr Joanne Preston, Reader in Marine Ecology and Evolution at the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Marine Sciences also commented: “The biggest barrier to restoration of the native oyster Ostrea edulis is the lack of oysters, so we need to breed more oysters, but in a way that preserves genetic diversity, harnesses disease resistance, but doesn’t spread disease. We looked at hatcheries that have been instrumental to Ostrea species restoration success in the USA and Australia and built on the UK’s heritage in shellfish production to develop a hatchery to enable us to scale up restoration in the Solent”.

Commenting on the use of Ocean On Land Technology’s products within the project, Dr Nik Sachlikidis, Managing Director of the Cadman Capital Group’s Aquaculture portfolio, said: “We are consistently trying to develop new ways to help improve efficiency and effectiveness when growing shellfish. Having both our Oyster Broodstock System and Juvenile Rearing Unit used within this new and exciting project is just one of the many ways in which Ocean On Land Technology hopes to help organisations like Portsmouth University to do the great work of restoring the globe’s depleting shellfish stocks. We are extremely excited to see how things progress and are proud to support this terrific work”.

Ocean On Land Technology is committed to researching and developing technologies that improve efficiency and sustainability when cultivating shellfish, in order to aid the replenishment of worldwide seafood stocks.