For 10 years now, the Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie (RPPSG) has been raising lobster larvae in the Merinov facilities, in Grande-Rivière, to seed juveniles of this precious crustacean on the seabed of the Gaspé. The 149 RPPSG captain-owners are proud to announce that last Friday, August 7, the millionth small lobster produced and raised in the hatchery was returned to sea !

Inspired by what was done elsewhere in the world, the RPPSG began in 2010 a program to produce lobsters in hatcheries for stocking purposes, with the objective of compensating annually 3 to 5 % of the catches. Over time, hatchery production has improved, and better yields were achieved with more than 200,000 lobsters released to sea annually since 2017. This contributes to the sustainability of the resource and the sustainable development of the lobster fishery, therefore maintaining this important socio-economic activity in the Gaspé. Ten years later, with the release of this millionth hatchery-reared baby lobster, we consider that the initial goal of releasing 100,000 lobsters per year has been met.

Thanks to the various R&D projects carried out, Mr. Jean Côté, biologist and scientific director of RPPSG, and his team have developed unique expertise. They first learned the basics of hatchery lobster culture, and then were the first in North America to adopt the Aquahive, an innovative nursery system designed specifically for lobster aquaculture. The projects of the following years made it possible to reduce handling and costs, while developing a more efficient production strategy in the hatchery.