Hatchery, nursery and raceways

The Section for Coastal Ecology, DTU Aqua in Nykøbing Mors has facilities for land-based breeding and farming of oysters, seaweed and other marine low trophic species.

The facility is unique in Europe due to its scale of operation, multi-species approach and modern technology and is as such the only of its kind in Denmark.


A new large-scale hatchery (750 m2) was established in 2021. The design is based on modular units with high flexibility in terms of setups needed. Water is filtered (1 µm), UV-treated, recirculated and temperature controlled (5-25°C).

Besides specific facilities for microalgae, bivalves and macroalgae the hatchery has:

  • A quarantine room (50 m2) with wastewater treatment (UV + 0.2µm filtration). It can for instance be used for work involving diseases and invasive species. 
  • An experimental room (86 m2) with modular tanks adapted to all kind of experiments with low trophic species. Experimental work in flow through, recirculation or batch mode. 

Bivalve and microalgae

Secure area. Both recirculation and flow through systems. All rooms supplied with filtered UV treated seawater and controlled water and room temperature.

  • Flat oyster hatchery room (187 m2) has UV + 1µm filtered seawater includes 12 x 100 l and 12 x 30 l broodstock tanks, 40 x 15 l larval tanks, 40 x 50 l settlement and modular micro nursery tanks (trays, sieves…).
  • Microalgae production room (82 m2) has UV + 0.2 µm filtered seawater contains 10 x photobioreactors of 100 l and 72 x batch culture bags of 50 l. There are 4 main microalgae strains cultivated all year long (Chaetoceros sp., Tisochrysis lutea, Pavlova gyrans and Rhodomonas salina).


The macroalgae hatchery consists of a 53 m2 climate room with constant temperature. If needed, water can be temperature controlled in the range of approx. 8-25°C. Adjustable light (irradiance and day length). 

  • The facility is highly flexible and can work in flow through, recirculation or batch mode. Tank setups are also adaptable and changes according to ongoing research trials.
  • Tank setups include 10 x 120 l and 18 x 30 l conical tanks with bottom aeration.
  • Batch tanks for broodstock.for e.g. broodstock conditioning and seaweed nursery.
  • Different scale trays setups are used for seeding (30 or 400 l).   
  • Small-scale setups (flasks, beakers, small aquariums etc.) for cultures and experiments with microstages of different seaweed species.  


A new building (400 m2) was built in 2021 with filtered seawater at 60 µm. Tank configuration as required for experiments. The facility is enclosed but not heated.


In addition, the facilities include a raceway building (450 m2) with a set of 12 raceways x 10 upwelling tanks with filtered seawater (adjustable for 100 or 1 µm). In each raceway, there is room for 10 upwelling/downwelling containers with a volume of 55 l. 


For more information, contact Aquaculture Technician Pascal Barreau or Senior Researcher Camille Saurel or Senior Researcher Mette Møller Nielsen.

Photos from hatchery

Seaweed hatchery for research and production. Photo: Camille Saurel
Seaweed hatchery for research and production. Photo: Camille Saurel.

Production tanks for seeding seaweed lines and nets. Photp: Mette Møller Nielsen
Production tanks for seeding seaweed lines and nets. Photo: Mette Møller Nielsen. 

Lobster tanks. Photo: Camille Saurel
Lobster tanks. Photo: Camille Saurel.

Lobster juveniles produced in the hatchery and kept in captivity. Photo: Camille Saurel
Lobster juveniles produced in the hatchery. Photo: Camille Saurel. 

View of the European flat oyster hatchery. Photo: Camille Saurel
The European flat oyster hatchery: broodstock, larvae, settlement areas and micronursery. Photo: Camille Saurel.

Flat oyster spats. Photo: Camille Saurel
Flat oyster spats. Photo: Camille Saurel.

Oysters kept individually in the quarantine. Photo: Camille Saurel
European flat oysters kept individually in the quarantine. Photo: Camille Saurel. 

Different strains of microalgae cultivated in 50L bags. Photo: Camille Saurel
Different strains of microalgae cultivated in 50L bags. Photo: Camille Saurel. 



Pascal David Alain Barreau
Aquaculture Technician
DTU Aqua
+45 61 20 54 14


Camille Saurel
Senior Researcher
DTU Aqua
+45 61 15 01 62


Mette Møller Nielsen
Senior Researcher
DTU Aqua
+45 22 27 57 73