Success Stories

RPPSG profile and comments about our Aquahive® system

3rd August 2018

The Regroupement des Pêcheurs Professionnels du Sud de la Gaspésie (RPPSG), is a non-profit association representing 160 professional fishermen in southern Gaspé, Canada. Its primary goal is to ensure the sustainability of its member’s main activity – lobster fishing.

In 2010, RPPSG began culturing Stage IV lobster postlarvae (Homarus Americanus) using an on-land hatchery system, with a view to replenish member stocks and compensate 3% to 5% of catch.

Unfortunately, using homemade structures proved difficult for RPPSG and the team found the process to be both space and time consuming. Handling of the larvae and their storage had proved problematic, coupled with the first release of post larvae, which failed due to predation as the juveniles passed down through the water column. With three to four weeks of work ruined and no positive impact on sustainability achieved, the team looked into other options for hatchery production.

Inspired by a visit to Orkney’s hatchery in 2011, Jean was introduced to the Aquahive® product from Ocean On Land Technology. An innovative compact tray system, which only requires one-time handling of the juvenile lobsters (when they are put into their individual cells). Jean quickly realised this pioneering system and its ease of use would be ideal for the RPPSG’s needs.

On completion Jean commented:

“I’m impressed with how simple the tray system is and being able to transfer larvae from the larval tank to the trays at Stage 3 and Stage 4 at the same time is hugely benficial as it avoids the period of highest predation risk in the tank.”

In addition, he was impressed with how the Aquahive® allows for the safekeeping of thousands of postlarvae lobster until they reach Stage 5 or 6, ensuring far better survival rates after release. This is due to the juveniles now being both bigger and stronger. Furthermore, fishermen can now be directly involved in the geographical release strategy, creating a powerful means of environmental protection and highlighting the fragility of this precious resource.

Using the Aquahive® has drastically increased both the production capacity of the hatchery and the overall rate of survival. In 2017, a second Aquahive® unit was added to the RPPSG hatchery in order to double production.

Since using the Aquahive®, over 440,000 Stage 4, 5 and 6 postlarvae have been released in southern Gaspé, helping to protect the livelihoods of many fishermen and their communities.

"I would recommend the Aquahive® to any lobster hatchery, especially if you want to release larger postlarvae. You also receive tremendous support from the Ocean On Land Technology team, from helping with set up, to starting and using the system."

– Jean Côté, Scientific Director and Hatchery Manager at RPPSG

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