Sea Ranching

Sea-ranching is based on releasing juvenile lobsters into dedicated areas with suitable habitats, in order to increase the harvestable stock. Sea-ranch areas can be subject to exclusive rights obtained by those releasing juveniles. The release can also be carried out as part of a general government enhancement program. Lobsters released into the wild in their natural environment are recaptured (harvested) when they have attained a marketable size.

From the Hatchery...

The brood-stock or so-called "berried" females are captured from the wild, using pots. They are individually stored in tanks in suitable conditions. Female lobsters reach sexual maturity in a minimum of 5 years of age. After that period they become berried twice every three years. In the wild lobsters usually hatch overnight in July-August releasing a couple of thousand larvae at a time. These new larvae, or "Stage I" larvae, initiate their planktonic phase in our lobster incubators.

Lobster larvae will pass through three planktonic or "swimming" stages, during which they will be provided with food. Their feeding regime can be composed of several small crustaceans such as artemia, krill or copepods, either frozen or alive. In order to grow, they will remove their hard exoskeleton: a process known as "moulting". Newly moulted larvae are exposed to predation which requires an appropriate daily diet and water circulation to avoid and reduce this cannibalistic behavior.lobster incubators.

After the third moult, the larvae reach the "Stage IV" which can be easily identified by a remarkable change in the body structure and behavior, and they instinctively look for a suitable substrate to hide in. the Sea Ranch

At this post-larval stage, lobsters have better survival rates. In fact, during its previous planktonic phases, larvae are naturally subject to many pelagic predators in the water column. In order to release lobsters on the defined sea-ranch, benthic Stage IV are introduced in the lobster settling system (LSS). This patented system, benefiting from constant testing and improvements, has proven to be a secure living environment and allows the larvae to be distributed over a defined area. The LSS offers unique advantages compared to already existent sea ranching techniques, such as "hand release" or using divers. It considerably contributes to increase the amount of lobsters available on the sea-ranch.

After a minimum period of 4-5 years, which represents the average duration for a lobster to reach a marketable size, lobsters can be re-caught using standard fishing pots.

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