Research at the National Lobster Hatchery

The National Lobster Hatchery is a Centre of Expertise on the European Lobster. In 2011 a Scientific Committee was formed to drive our research forward. The following is our research strategy:


Research Mission

The National Lobster Hatchery (NLH) seeks to create a sustainable lobster fishery in Cornwall.


Research priorities:

No. 1 The main research priority for the NLH is to monitor the success of our primary charitable objective (i.e. the stock enhancement program). In the foreseeable future this work will include, but not be limited to the following areas:

  • Examination of tagging systems that will enable stakeholders to easily identify hatchery reared animals.
  • Estimation of survival rates for hatchery reared lobsters in the field.
  • Estimation of contribution to catches of the European lobster.
  • Genetic analysis of Cornish lobster stocks.
[button url=”” target=”_self” size=”large” style=”royalblue” ]No. 1 ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF STOCKING PROGRAMS[/button]

No. 2 In addition to this the NLH will also focus research efforts on in-house research and development work. This will include projects specifically designed to improve the stock enhancement techniques and implementation of the conservation work. The overarching aim of this work is to create comprehensive improvements in the output capabilities of the NLH and to provide a reduction in the unit costs of production.

This work will include, but not be limited to the following areas:

  • Improving and developing novel and traditional husbandry techniques.
  • Improving our understanding of the nutritional requirements of the European lobster throughout each stage of its life-cycle and the development of appropriate diets.
  • Gaining a better understanding of the implications of disease issues and strategies for improving the health of larvae and juveniles.
  • Developing systems for effective release of juvenile lobsters through appropriate stakeholders.
  • Developing artificial habitats for promoting post release survival of juveniles through behavioural studies.
[button url=”” target=”_self” size=”large” style=”royalblue” ]No. 2 IN-HOUSE RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT[/button]

No. 3 Though not top priority at present, other research areas form the basis for one off projects at the NLH, examining the broader issues associated with our stock enhancement program:

  • Examination of the impacts of specific environmental threats upon the species (e.g. ocean acidification or climate change work).
  • Examination of fisheries management techniques (e.g. maximum landing sizes, effort limitation, vessel capacity, offshore aquaculture).
  • Research and development work such as the work which the NLH has been undertaking with the South West Depuration Training Centre.
[button url=”” target=”_self” size=”large” style=”royalblue” ]No. 3 BROADER ISSUES[/button]

External Aims:

  • To provide research outcomes and publications of value to the fishing and aquaculture industries.
  • To act as a catalyst for research into the European lobster.
  • To provide a platform for the dissemination of technical and academic skills.
  • To provide facilities accessible to the general public to promote understanding of the role of the NLH and the fields in which it operates.

Internal Aims:

  • To utilise the NLH research facilities at full capacity.
  • To develop the skill base of the NLH team

For all our past and current research, publications, abstracts and papers click on an appropriate link.

[button url=”” target=”_self” size=”large” style=”royalblue” ]PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS[/button] [button url=”” target=”_self” size=”large” style=”royalblue” ]LOBSTER CONFERENCE April 2013[/button] [button url=”” target=”_self” size=”large” style=”royalblue” ]LOBSTER CONFERENCE December 2015[/button]


Dr Grant Stentiford, Pathologist, Director of the European Reference Lab for Crustacean Diseases, CEFAS (Chairman of Academic Committee for NLH)

Dr Colin Bannister, Chairman of the Shellfish Association of Great Britain

Dominic Boothroyd, General Manager, National Lobster Hatchery

Dr Carly Daniels, Principal Investigator, Lobster Grower 2, National Lobster Hatchery

Prof Matthew Evans, Professor of Ecology & Head of School, Queens Mary University of London

Dr Phil Le Grice, Principal of Bicton College and Director of Rural Economy and Food at The Cornwall College Group

Dr Amber Griffiths, Founder of FoAM Kernow

Prof Dave Hodgson, Associate Professor of Ecology & Associate Dean of Education, University of Exeter

Dr Rosslyn McIntyre, CEFAS

Dr Adam Powell Post Doctor, University of Gothenburg

Jean Taylor, retired Head of Strategic Economic Development in Cornwall, University of Exeter

Colin Trundle, Principal Scientific Officer, Cornwall IFCA

Dr Rachel Turner, Lecturer in Environmental Social Science, University of Exeter

The National Lobster Hatchery, South Quay, Padstow, PL28 8BL Tel: 01841 533877
Registered in England & Wales 3527313 | Registered Charity in England & Wales 1105434
Copyright 2020 All rights reserved | Privacy Policy