The first ever automated hatchery solution to meet demand for high quality European lobster (AUTOHATCH) (39882)

Project Details


The goal of the project is to develop a commercially viable European lobster (EL) juvenile hatchery for a stable supply of EL juveniles stage IV (j-IV) from juveniles stage I-III (j-I-III).

The hatchery is based on modular incubators, automation and RAS principles. This to enable the final project for industrial scale immediately post-project, while enabling traceability and systematic breeding for promoting select characteristics. The incubators must facilitate enhanced survival and growth rates for the pelagic stages, while mitigating especially inherent outspoken cannibalism. The hatchery must feed in to enable stable plate-size lobster production, building on the NLF Automarus project

To achieve this the consortium will optimize and mature the different subcomponents of the AutoHatch project (i.e. image recognitioning, input sensor, feeding unit, sorting tunnel loop). During the project, our goal is to optimize our fully automated hatchery by maturing its components to:
a) Automatically sort, select and grade I-IV stage EL juveniles.
b) Follow up on juveniles development though an image processing camera, that can distinguish j-I-III from J-IV to determine whether to send juveniles back to their siblings (i.e. pelagic stages I-III) or into single cages (i.e. benthic stage j-IV).
c) Optimising diet, survival rates and start-feeding (j-I-j-II).
d) Investigate j-III survival and mortality trends – including cannibalism and feed timing needs.
e) Integrate double feedback loops on breeding and selection based on data analysis and juvenile heritage traceability.

With an optimized AutoHatch solution, we will be able to deliver the first ever industrial EL hatchery in the EU, with enough capacity to supply multiple factories and satellite production units with EL juveniles for rearing.

National Institute of Aquatic Resources, DTU Aqua
Norwegian Lobster Farm AS, Norway (coordinator)
ECS, Norway
IHP Systems AS, Denmark

The project is funded by EU Horizon 2020 (EUROSTARS-2) and Innovation Fund Denmark.

Research area: Aquaculture 
Effective start/end date01/03/202128/02/2023


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