The Aquahive developed by Richard Land and Dennis Gowland has revolutionised the production of lobsters from larvae to juvenile. The new system has been shown in commercial trials, at 2 hatcheries, to out-perform traditional mono-layer tray-based systems by a factor of 40 on a per square metre basis.
This has led to the feasibility of producing in a small area what was previously possible only in a large built area. Shellfish Hatchery Systems Ltd has now made possible a reduction in both the capital expenditure and running costs of hatcheries. More reliable and easier means of producing consistent numbers of high quality juveniles have meant that scientific training is no longer a necessity for personnel running a lobster hatchery.
The new concept of Hatchery-in-a-Box encompasses all the new developments brought about by the founders of Shellfish Hatchery Systems Ltd and offers a turnkey solution to groups or even individuals who wish to develop their local lobster fisheries. These self-contained modules can be placed in quaysides or in shore-side positions next to a clean source of seawater and offer an expected production level of 65,000 stage 6+ juveniles from a 20ft container and up to 200,000 from a 40ft container. Capital pay-back would, typically, be achieved in 2 seasons or less. Reductions in running costs, compared to a conventional 'brick-built' hatchery should be in the order of 50 -75%.