The NAFC Marine Centre is launching a new study into the diets of stored lobsters to find out whether storage has an effect on appearance, as well as the weight and quality of flesh.
The project will try to mimic the storage methods used by Shetland fishermen and aims to benefit them by providing scientific evidence on how best to feed stored lobsters for the Christmas market.
This project is part-financed by the European Union under the Shetland LEADER 2008- 2013 Programme. It is also part-financed by Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation.
Shellfish research assistant Daniel Gear will lead the project. He said: “The study begins next month when 20 lobsters will be put into keep creels and fed either a simulated natural diet or one of bait-grade fish. Each month, 20 more lobsters will be stored and monthly checks of weight and appearance will be carried out until December when the flesh quality of each lobster will be analysed.
“The results should be available early in 2010 and updates on progress will be given throughout the course of the experiment.”
Lobsters have already been secured for July Mr Gear said he would need more lobsters over the coming months. Fishermen interested in selling some lobsters for the project at the seasonal price can contact him at the centre on (01595) 772205.