Buy one, set one free at the lobster hatchery
The hatchery down at the harbour is soon to be entering its second year of operation and we are keen to get more people involved.
Running the hatchery is a real team effort – we rely on local fishermen to bring in the egg bearing lobsters and to return the young lobsters to the sea. We have the help of NIFCA (Northumberland Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority) and The Fifth Point Diving Centre.
The Northumberland Seafood Centre and Hatchery often takes in local berried hens (a female lobster carrying eggs) until they hatch, as in the first few weeks they are more vulnerable and likely to be eaten by other sea life. The hatchery keeps them in specialist tanks, until it becomes safe for them to return to the wild.
Buy one set one free
In order to make the population enhancement programme viable over the long term, we are looking to engage with everyone involved in the journey of a lobster from the sea to the plate. So, to add to the team this year, we are actively encouraging restaurants, pubs and cafés (basically anyone who serves lobster) to be part of the picture We have established a ‘buy one, set one free’ programme where customers will be invited to add a donation to their bill in order to support the enhancement of our local lobster stocks.
Restaurants will be able to demonstrate their sustainability credentials and link to the hatchery website (we’re always being asked where’s best to eat). One of the first to sign up is Colmans Fish Temple down in South Shields and we hope they will be the first of many throughout the region.
Richard Ord, owner of Colmans Seafood Temple, said: “ The commitment we have to sustainability is very important to us. This includes turning our waste oil in to biofuel, using solar panels, and only using fish that comes from well-managed, sustainable fishing grounds”
So – next time you tuck into a lobster, make sure to ask if the restaurant is part of our scheme and support us whenever you can.