Back in January we promised to donate 5% of our profits to charity this year. Well, it wasn’t just empty words! After much research we have officially become a Patron of the National Lobster Hatchery, who are based in Padstow, Cornwall.
We are very excited to be supporting them in their efforts to improve the numbers of European Lobsters in the wild and put them firmly on the sustainable list. The National Lobster Hatchery has been operating as a charity since 2004. Their focuses are marine conservation, research and education. They have a visitors center in Padstow that is, thankfully, open again after the Covid restrictions have begun to ease.
One female lobster can carry anywhere in the region of 4,000 to 40,000 eggs under their abdomen.
Out in the wild, only one of these little guys is expected to survive. When they hatch, they float around as plankton on the ocean currents for around 4 - 6 weeks. Naturally, in this stage they make a great lunch for any larger sea creature, despite aggressively trying to eat any smaller creature.
After a few months, they grow into juveniles and are able to burrow into the seafloor to become slightly less vulnerable. They’ll live in their burrows for about 1 and a half to 2 years. Lobsters only mature to adults when they are between 4 to 7 years old and can then be caught and sold once their body reaches the minimum landing size (90mm in Cornwall).
The NLH get their ‘berried hens’ - which is what they call the female lobsters carrying eggs - from local fishermen. The berried hens are then kept at the hatchery until their eggs hatch and then they are released back into the wild to hopefully produce more eggs during the next mating season. They will even go so far as to rehabilitate any female lobsters that are found injured. Just take a look at the wonderful story of Claudia on the NLH website!
The work being done at the NLH is both incredibly interesting and innovative. It is a great way to make sure that these wonderful creatures are kept sustainable. Supporting the National Lobster Hatchery is something that we at The Fish Society are incredibly proud of and we sincerely hope that you take a moment to look into them and see what amazing work they are doing for yourselves!