What’s it all about
The Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery is housed in purpose fitted out container at North Berwick Harbour with rearing units from Aquahive Shellfish Systems Ltd. From this production container, funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, we plan to release tens of thousands of juvenile lobsters in to the Firth of Forth every year.
This will 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. 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 the educational container with funds for graphics and information panels and now for 2016 we will benefit with a new unit to replace it as it finally could no longer be repaired, reusing equipment and graphic panels.
We are open to the public daily as a seasonal (Easter to end of October) tourist attraction demonstrating the remarkable lifecycle of lobsters. We give tours and talks about the Hatchery to individuals as well as for larger groups, both on site and off.
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.