A tower of lobster pots, The National Lobster Hatchery

The National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow helps maintain sustainable lobster populations and supports local lobster fishermen and the wider economy of Cornwall.

National Lobster Hatchery conservation work

The National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow is best known for it’s conservation work in helping to maintain European lobster stocks around the Cornwall coast. Since 2000 they have bred lobsters from eggs and released them into the wild once they have grown enough to have the best chance of survival.

Like some other marine species, lobster populations are under threat. In some parts of the world numbers have already reached dangerously low levels, mostly because of over fishing. The work of The National Lobster Hatchery is pioneering in this respect. Their work not only helps to maintain the species; it also means communities that rely on lobster fishing can continue to do so.

The National Lobster hatchery is a charity, which as well as conservation, undertakes scientific research and education work. They are funded from various sources including a visitor centre.

National Lobster Hatchery visitor centre

The small National Lobster Hatchery visitor centre is located at the hatchery on the South Quay in Padstow, right next to the towns main car park. Here you can see baby lobsters in the hatchery and learn about their biology and lifecycle from hatching to releasing and beyond. There are some interactive displays, which are popular with children.

You’ll discover some amazing facts, including that a female lobster will carry up to 20,000 eggs but in the wild only one is expected to survive. The techniques used at the hatchery can improve the survival rate by about a thousand times.

The entry fees for visiting the National Lobster Hatchery are an important revenue stream for the charity and are a very reasonable £9 for a family of four.  In 2016 the centre was awarded silver in ‘best small attraction of the year’ in the Cornwall Tourism Awards. It is open from 10am every day of the year, except Christmas day.

Lobster restaurants in Padstow

In a town famed for it’s seafood restaurants and shops one of the outcomes of the charities work can be experienced within a few hundred yards of the hatchery itself. When you order the local lobster in Rick Steins seafood restaurant, or one of the many other restaurants in Padstow, you can be sure it will come from sustainable stocks. This is a very real example of a community working together to support a traditional and important part of the local economy.

Adopt a lobster

The hatchery has a little shop and one way of helping to support their work is to adopt a lobster. For just £3 you can adopt a lobster for you, your child or a friend. That means the juvenile lobster is named after you, you receive a certificate and will be able to see when your lobster is released into the sea. You can also adopt a lobster online on the National Lobster Hatchery website.

There are other ways to support the charity and you’ll find details and much more about the National Lobster Hatchery on their excellent website, here.

Contact the National Lobster Hatchery

Telephone: 01841 533877

Address: The National Lobster Hatchery, South Quay, Padstow, Cornwall. PL28 8BL

Email: visitorcentre@nationallobsterhatchery.co.uk

Website: http://www.nationallobsterhatchery.co.uk