The charity had planned to move production of juvenile lobsters for its stocking and research programmes to a purpose-built facility, with access to better water quality. At the same time it intended to use the space created to further develop its successful visitor centre on the quayside in Padstow. The plans were in response to two pressures – firstly, the need for better water quality to grow the sensitive larval lobsters and secondly, the need to develop the visitor centre in Padstow, so that the charity can continue promoting the local fishing industry.
“Water quality within the Camel estuary is simply not consistently good enough for growing large numbers of juvenile lobsters through their most vulnerable stages” said General Manager, Dom Boothroyd. “Long term, larval production needs to move to a site with consistently excellent water quality and the Stepper point site was perfect in that respect because it was close enough to the rest of the charity’s operation to be both practical and affordable. Our visitor centre in Padstow is perfectly located, but needs to be bigger – moving lobster production away was going to create this space.”
The charity is withdrawing its application in response to the public consultation it held in August.
“We took a great deal of care to ensure that the Stepper point building would not be visible and that vehicular movement would be kept to a minimum – but our local community is very important to us and that’s why we’ve withdrawn our application.” said Chairman, Bryan Coode. “Making that decision obviously represents a serious blow to our dedicated mission of supporting the lobster industry globally but the charity needs to move forward”.
“Our trustees will now discuss what options exist for the future to ensure that we continue to develop an international centre of excellence for lobster science.”