The Yorkshire Coast BID has partnered with the new Marine Discovery Centre in the heart of Whitby, providing funding to support the expansion and development of their new visitor’s centre as part of the wider Whitby Lobster Hatchery project.
In June, the Whitby Lobster Hatchery released their first group of baby lobsters back into the ocean. As the summer season continues, the hen lobsters are producing more and more larvae and the project is hatching many juveniles, ready to be released back into the sea.
Yorkshire lobsters are often listed as some of the best in the world and they are incredibly desirable to the seafood markets across Europe, and as such, lobster fishing is a significant source of income for the fishing community on the Yorkshire Coast.
However, the demand for lobsters alongside the difficult life circle they face has resulted in a drastic need for lobster conservation, to ensure these species are healthy, abundant and sustainable. Despite lobsters producing up to 20,000 eggs per cycle, only a tiny 1% of the larvae actually survive, making work undertaken by the Whitby Lobster Hatchery ever more important.
Whitby’s fleet of potting boats catch around 100,000 lobster each year, however the growing demand has highlighted a greater need for conservation, which is where the work of Whitby Lobster Hatchery plays an important role.
The hatchery operates to create a sustainable future for the Yorkshire Coast, and it aims to release 100,000 juvenile lobsters into the ocean every year. To achieve this, the Whitby Lobster Hatchery develops the eggs within its hatchery, eliminating many early risks and increasing the larvae survival rate to 30 – 50%.
The hatchery is also dedicated to educating people about the benefits of looking after the environment and the marine habitats. To support the hatchery’s efforts, the Yorkshire Coast BID has invested funds to help transform the unused section of the fish market into a Marine Discovery Centre for visitors and families to learn even more about the work undertaken to protect the species.
Kerry Carruthers, Chief Executive at the Yorkshire Coast BID, said: “A clear focus of the Yorkshire Coast BID has been sustainability and supporting local businesses and organisations. The Yorkshire Coast is famed for its shellfish, and it is vitally important industry for our area. The work that has been undertaken by the Whitby Lobster Hatchery team and its trustees over the last couple of years has been impressive, and we are pleased that alongside other funding partners, that we can support the creation of the Marine Discovery.”
Joe Redfern from the Whitby Lobster Hatchery, added: “We have been making some amazing progress at the lobster hatchery, every day we are producing more baby lobsters ready to be returned to the sea. As the summer season builds our amazing hen lobsters are producing more larvae just this week we broke our own record of hatching over 6000 juveniles in a day.
Our conservation efforts have been supported by the Yorkshire Coast BID which we are very grateful for. The work is firmly underway in the visitors centre and we are excited to open our doors soon to give people chance to see our lobsters and other inspiring local sea life!”
If you’d like to support this initiative and find out more, visit: https://www.whitbylobsterhatchery.co.uk/.
This is the latest investment that forms part of Yorkshire Coast BID’s pledge to support sustainable projects and events throughout the Yorkshire Coast to protect the areas wild and marine life, building on the most recent, Seal of Approval, championing businesses that are making greener choices.