Current Projects

Juvenile European Lobster Homarus gammarus Habitat preference Trial

Attempts at locating Juvenile European lobsters Homarus gammarus in the wild have currently been unsuccessful (1). In comparison research into American Lobster Homarus americanus have highlighted habitat preference and the effect of other environmental factors (2). From this research, habitat availability has been demonstrated as one of the significant limiting factors on juvenile recruitment (2,3).

In comparison information regarding European lobster habitat preference is is limted (4), however the use of artificial habitat to increase habitat availability has been used successfully in other parts of the uk (5), demonstrating the presence of small juvenile lobsters (27mm carapace length) habitation.

Based on this research Orkney Sustainable Fisheries Ltd. will undertake a juvenile  habitat enhancement project aimed at investigating the use of artificial structures as habitat enhancement and the use of such structures in the marine environment. This project will be split into two components; 1) Pre deployment experiment, 2) sea trials.

The first phase will comprise of a predeployment experiment looking to investigate the most suitable aggregate sizes to encourage juvenile lobster retention. This is taking place over winter 2014 : November 2014 – May 2015.

The second phase will be the deployment of large scale structures and pre seeding of these structure with Juvenile European lobster from the land holm hatchery. This is scheduled to take place summer 2015.

For Updates on the Project Click Here

For More Information on the project Click here


(1) Howard A. E., Bennett D. B., (1979) Journal of Natural History, 13, 433-438.

(2) Wahle R. A., Stenneck R. S., (1991) Mar Ecol-Prog Ser. 69, 231-243.

(3)  Whahle R. A., Incze L. S., (1997) J Exp Mar Biol Ecol, 217, 179-207.

(4) Linnane et al., (2000) J Exp Mar Biol Ecol, 249, 51-64.

(5) Jensen A. C., & Collins K. L., (1995) Biol. Mar. Mediterr, 2, 111-112.


European Lobster Homarus gammarus Stock Assessment 

As part of the 4 year Orkney Fisheries Research Project both market and observer sampling (Fig 1) are conducted to evaluate the stability and current levels of exploitation within the Orkneys Inshore European Lobster Stock. The data collected from these activities feed into Orkney Sustainable Fisheries quarterly and yearly Observer and Logbook Report and geographic specific stock assessment. Market sampling data is also passed onto Marine Scotland from which they conduct their own separate stock assessment.

Figure 1. Current lobster measurements taken during sampling


For Observer and Logbook reports Click Here

For Yearly Stock Assessments Click Here