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About Us

A bio-secure shellfish hatchery committed to sustainability and innovation

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About Us

A bio-secure shellfish hatchery committed to sustainability and innovation

About Us

Our Story

Orkney Shellfish Hatchery is a state-of-the-art aquaculture facility, providing premium shellfish products and European native oyster spat to the aquaculture/restoration market.

Grown in the remote Orkney Islands, surrounded by the pristine Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans and vast rolling green fields, our purpose-built facility provides the perfect environment for the production of clean, healthy and sustainable hatchery-raised shellfish products.

Ensuring our products are disease-free is top of our agenda, as it is paramount that shellfish used for restoration purposes are clean and healthy.

Through our work and continuous innovation, we aim to support shellfish restoration projects, not only within our local community but on an international scale.

This is how aquaculture is transforming the seafood industry and we are pleased to be playing an important role in that change - leading the way with our sustainable, responsible, and innovative operations.

Our Mission

It is our mission to become the market-leading producer of the highest quality shellfish products, supporting and supplying the UK and European shellfish restoration market.

Meet Our Team

Dr Nik Sachlikidis - Managing Director of Aquaculture 

Dr Nik Sachlikidis is one of the world’s leading aquaculture and fisheries experts, bringing more than 20 years of practical experience in the government and commercial fisheries and aquaculture sectors. He has previously held a range of scientific leadership roles in industry-science based partnerships focused on the development of lobster aquaculture techniques and technology and has worked in aid programs throughout South-East Asia. In his role at Orkney Shellfish Hatchery, Nik is responsible for the implementation of the hatchery’s sustainability agenda and strategy, with the development of additional aquaculture products as a priority. He is a passionate advocate for sustainable global seafood production and an enthusiastic team builder and mentor.

Dr Matthew Johnston - R&D Director 

With over two decades of global experience developing sustainable and eco-friendly nutrition and feed solutions for the aquaculture industry, Dr Matthew Johnston brings a wealth of knowledge in hatchery and grow-out feed development. Matthew is an advocate of sustainably and responsibly-sourced feed additives and ingredients and shares our enthusiasm to play a leading role in the global shift towards sustainable aquaculture.

Owain Wynn-Jones - Commercial Director 

Having completed undergraduate studies in Zoology, Owain went on to obtain his Master of Science in Aquaculture and Development before beginning his career in the aquaculture sector. Through his previous roles, including Head of Market Development at Offshore Shellfish, Operations Manager at Southern Aqua and Assistant Scientist at Environment Agency, Owain has developed a solid understanding of the sector at a global scale, from both a scientific and market perspective. In his role as Commercial Director, Owain is focused on accelerating growth at the hatchery, as well as implementing and executing strategies, with an aim of achieving the business’ ambitious objectives.

Stewart Beattie - Hatchery Manager 

Boasting an impressive array of aquaculture knowledge, built through experience gained in previous research and hatchery roles, Stewart joined the Orkney Shellfish Hatchery team in 2019 as a Hatchery Technician, before being appointed Hatchery Manager in late 2021. In this leadership role, Stewart is responsible for the overall running of the hatchery, ensuring the right processes and protocols are in place for the bio-secure production of premium shellfish products.

Callum Henagulph - Lobster Hatchery Technician 

Benefitting from significant experience in the aquaculture industry, with a specific focus on the cultivation of clawed lobster, Callum is responsible for running the hatchery’s lobster research and development program. From on-growing lobster using high-end equipment, to researching and implementing best hatchery practises and systems, Callum plays a pivotal role in our ambition to produce high quality lobster here at our hatchery.

Elizabeth Welch - Algae Technician 

Elizabeth joined the Orkney Shellfish Hatchery team in early 2021 and has since been overseeing all aspects of the microalgae culturing operation. She is responsible for ensuring the hatchery produces a large volume of clean, good quality feed for the oysters, but also carries out other key tasks such as playing and ensuring the water quality. Prior to joining the team, Elizabeth worked as a Laboratory Technician in a GLP laboratory carrying out marine toxicity testing. 

Andy Irvine - Systems and Maintenance Technician  

A local Orcadian with over 20 years of experience in the motor trade, Andy was seeking a change of career when he joined the Orkney Shellfish Hatchery team as the only dedicated Systems and Maintenance Technician. Within the hatchery, Andy plays a pivotal role in ensuring all systems are well maintained to the high standard required to allow the hatchery to run efficiently and effectively. 

What we do and why we do it

Orkney Shellfish Hatchery was established in 2018 to fill a supply gap in the UK oyster spat market. As our hatchery and team has grown and developed, we have extended our operations to also focus on the sustainable production of European clawed lobsters, an area that is still in the development phase at our hatchery. Though progressing, our primary aim has not changed - we are here to supply the UK and European restoration market with the premium products they need to successfully replenish wild shellfish stocks.

Our team of professionals are always on hand to assist. To get in touch, call us on 01604 695816.

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