What’s it all about
The Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery is housed in a purpose fitted out container funded by the Coastal Communities Fund. We release thousands of juvenile lobsters into the Firth of Forth every year.
Situated at North Berwick Harbour our long term aim is to benefit the fishing communities of East Lothian and Fife and strengthen the local marine ecosystem, hopefully leading to an increase in populations of crabs, langoustines and oysters, as well as lobsters.
The Russell Trust and Naturesave Trust were our first supporters, with Mainstream Renewable Developments helping with a rebuild after the 2012 storm seriously damaged our first hatchery, which became our educational container for 2014 and 2015. The Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), funded through East Lothian Council and European Fisheries Fund enabled the development of our 2016 to present educational container, which is open seven days a week during the season (Easter to end of October.)
We have continued each year with grants and funding from East Lothian Council, William Grant Foundation, North Berwick Trust, North Berwick Golf Club, Crudens and local restaurants The Lobster Shack and Rocketeer as well as donations from the public and our sponsors.
Celebrating 10 years in 2019 we have now become a regular summer tourist attraction at North Berwick, demonstrating and educating the public on the remarkable lifecycle of lobsters and giving them the unique opportunity to see live lobsters. We give tours and talks about the Hatchery to individuals as well as for larger groups, both on site and off as well as offering UK and European marine and aquaculture students practical hands on experience through volunteering, placements and summer internships.
We value the support we receive from local businesses, local fishermen and the wider community. Our invaluable volunteers, some local, some from outside of Britain, have helped us develop our facilities over the last couple of years as we work towards continuing further research, educational opportunities and community collaborations.