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Project information

Expanding the NLH’s Lobster Release Capacity

Expanding the capacity of the hatchery so we can release more lobsters into the sea each year, increasing the impact of the charity's marine conservation work. Ultimately this will help make the fishery more sustainable and safeguard the future of our fishing heritage and fragile coastal communities

The project is ongoing.

Charity information: The National Lobster Hatchery

The National Lobster Hatchery logo
  • Need


    More then 75% of the world’s fish stocks are either fully exploited, over exploited, depleted or recovering and there has never been as much pressure on the world’s fish stocks. Significant habitat damage has occurred in many areas and it’s clear we desperately need new approaches to managing our living marine resources The European lobster is worth a huge amount socially and economically but their high value means they are vulnerable to stock collapse as already occurred in 1960's Scandinavia.


    The NLH needs to install a new ‘Aquahive’ system (a cleverly designed ‘lobster stacking’ container) which will increase the hatchery’s capacity by 100% to hold an additional 42,000 juvenile lobsters at any one time. This project will enable us to expand the capacity of the hatchery and release more lobsters into the sea each year, increasing the impact of the charity's marine conservation work and ultimately helping to make the lobster fishery more sustainable.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To grow as many lobsters to around three months of age before release to improve survive rates.


    » Install Aquahives to save valuable space while providing better water quality and conserving energy; enabling increased production and reduced costs.

    What success will look like

    Monitor number of lobsters released per year; we envisage the increased capacity would enable us to releases around 120,000 lobsters this year compared to 54,000 last year.

  • Impact


    Releasing more lobsters each year will increase our contribution to the natural fisheries, ultimately helping to support the many livelihoods, related industries and coastal communities that rely on our fragile marine resources. Improving our lobster stocking techniques is a proactive step to help ensure scientific safeguards are in place should UK stocks experience collapse in the future. It will also improve the NLH's credibility as a model for marine conservation issues worldwide.


    The use of the Aquahives is dependent upon consistent juvenile lobster production. The NLH has invested much into minimalizing risk and limitation through its pioneering research into optimum rearing conditions, lobster diets, systems maintenance etc. Given that the Aquahive equipment is provided by a single known supplier and we have vast experience operating it, this is a considerably low risk project. We also maintain relationships with reliable broodstock suppliers.


    The NLH issues regular newsletters to keep all donors up to date with the challenges and achievements of the charity. We will also provide detailed progress reports on the project as and when requested and an official annual report at the end of the season.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £18,507

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £15,000 Aquahive unit A standard (stand-alone) 6-cylinder Aquahive unit with own biofilter, heater, UV, all pumps
      £1,000 Aquahive Delivery Aquahive Delivery (including import tax)
      £2,507 Installation & Admin Staff costs for installation and admin required by project

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    The Steel Charitable Trust £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The NLH is situated in the fishing town of Padstow. Our work focusses on coastal areas of Cornwall, Devon and the Isles of Scilly, however its relevance extends throughout the UK to fisheries worldwide. The NLH visitor education centre attracts around 43,000 people a year and it aims to educate the public on the importance of a sustainable fishery and encourage a more responsible attitude to managing our seafood from sourcing through to consumption.


    The charity’s work involves the fishing industry, scientists, the local community and the general public.Direct beneficiaries include fishermen and all within the seafood and marine related industries, as well as our coastal communities that would struggle to exist without healthy ocean resources. The NLH's visitor education centre is also contributing to the long term preservation of our coastal and fishing heritage for our future generations and recruits to the industry.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The NLH is the only organisation of its kind that operates a unique and innovative lobster stocking project alongside pioneering research and public education programmes. We are a very experienced, educated and passionate charity and we are supported by a hard working team of staff, volunteers and trustees. Our team ncludes leading academics, representatives from the inshore fisheries and conservation authority and members of the local community.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mr Dominic Boothroyd

    Managing Director - he will oversee and monitor the project set up and on going progress and development.

    Mr Ben Marshall

    Senior Hatchery Technician - managing set up, installing and everyday running of systems, lobster rearing processes and releases.

    Miss Jacky Tyler

    Hatchery Technician - installing Aquahives and everyday maintenance and running of hatchery systems and lobster rearing and release processes.

    Mr Olly Burrows

    Hatchery Apprentice - supporting Aquahive instalment and everyday running and maintenance of hatchery systems, lobster rearing and release processes.

The state of our fisheries

With the support of forward-thinking individuals who understand the importance of our work we can help overcome the challenges facing our fisheries.

Mr Bryan Coode