Centre set up to conserve the local lobster population and preserve marine biodiversity. Lobsters are raised from eggs through the most vunerable stage of their life cycle before being released back into the wild. The visitor centre is open every day of the year except Christmas Day.
Lobster doesn't just taste great on the plates of the restaurants in Padstow; these marine crustaceans also play a key role in the underwater ecosystems of the Cornish coast, as you'll discover if you pay a visit to the National Lobster Hatchery.
Dedicated to marine conservation, the hatchery releases somewhere in the region of 50,000 juvenile lobsters each year. It is one of only a handful of marine research establishments open to the public. Part of its role is to grow the lobsters up from tiny eggs under carefully controlled conditions, in order to enhance the chances of these eggs surviving by up to one thousand-fold. They are then taken to the seafloor by dive clubs and local fishermen so these juveniles are able to complete the next stage of their life – growing into full-sized adults.
The hatchery's visitor centre has won several awards for excellence, and welcomes 40,000 visitors each year. The young and old alike will be enthralled by the behind the scenes look they get at the work that goes into ensuring everyone is able to enjoy the taste of lobster in future generations. Others won't want to miss the chance to adopt a lobster to help ensure the survival of this crucial part of the ecosystem.
You'll find the National Lobster Hatchery on Padstow's South Quay, a stone's throw from the lobster pots of the town's fishing fleet.