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Orkney Shellfish Hatchery moves one step closer to oyster spat production

19th August 2020

Orkney Shellfish Hatchery is one step closer to producing oyster spat, after successfully translocating its first collection of native flat oyster broodstock from its offsite quarantine area, to its hatchery.
The movement of its broodstock enables Orkney Shellfish Hatchery to accelerate its preparations for breeding the oysters and producing spat for sale to reef restoration projects, as well as other markets.
Prior to moving the broodstock onsite, the Orkney Shellfish Hatchery team fitted the hatchery’s broodstock oyster holding and conditioning room with two additional layers of biosecurity. The first, ensures all wastewater generated from maintaining the broodstock oysters is treated with ultraviolet radiation, an efficient form of neutralising viruses and bacteria. The additional layer, which involved installing a final wastewater chlorination and neutralisation process, further strengthens the hatchery’s level of biosecurity.
It is planned that a secondary wastewater filtration system, which will treat all of the hatchery’s wastewater, will be installed and commissioned in the coming months.
Hannah Wright, Hatchery Technician at Orkney Shellfish Hatchery, commented: “The oyster holding container is now fully fitted with a separate effluent treatment unit to treat the water before it enters the hatchery drainage, to increase our biosecurity of releasing anything into the surrounding environment. The water temperature is at a holding temperature for the oysters to remain in ‘stasis’ to prevent spawning, prior to conditioning. Bacteriology testing of the oysters new holding facility was negative, suggesting a clean and healthy new home for our oysters”.
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.

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