Thousands of baby lobsters have a new home near Shediac, thanks to an adoption program designed to sustain the species and the industry.

Adopted baby lobster

Releasing lobsters into the wild after they reach stage four of development increases their chances of growing to maturity, Homarus Eco-Centre officials say. (Homarus Eco-Centre)

The lobsters were released into Shediac Bay over the weekend by Homarus Eco-Centre and community members who "adopted" them by making a donation to the non-profit organization.

Lobster larvae have less than a one per cent chance of growing to maturity in the wild, said Diego Ritchie, the program co-ordinator.

"They start off very small, almost like a mosquito. At that point they tend to swim more and just kind of go with the current, so they get almost entirely eaten," he said.

But their chance of survival increases significantly if they're released when they are older,once they have reached stage four of development, said Ritchie.

"They'll stick to the bottom and they're more aware of predators, so in doing that we see them sink right to the bottom where there's rocks. They can hide and it's close to 50 per cent that actually make it. So it's a huge impact."

People who adopt a lobster get to name it and follow its evolution from the Homarus Eco-Centre hatchery to the sea. They also receive an adoption certificate.

The adoption program, which started 12 years ago in partnership with lobster fishermen and has now grown to include Shediac community members, has released more than 2.5 million lobsters along the Maritime coast to date.