Over the last 20 years the National Lobster Hatchery (NLH) have released over 250,000 inch-long baby (2- to 3-month-old) lobsters back into the wild, to help conserve vulnerable lobster populations. Now, following the successful completion of our pioneering sea-based juvenile lobster growing project, Lobster Grower 2, the lobsters need your help! The NLH have carefully nurtured thousands of lobsters in environmentally-enriched sea-based refuges and we are now seeking your help to support the costs associated with retrieving and releasing these beautiful creatures. By donating, you will help us to release thousands of 1 to 3-year-old lobsters back into their natural habitat.
There are around 9,000 juvenile "Larry the lobsters", roughly the size of your hand, ready to start their journey in the wild. Lobster Grower 2 investigated the possibility of growing lobsters to larger sizes in specifically designed containers, suspended from ropes in St Austell Bay. The sea-based systems the lobsters were nurtured in, has proven to provide an effective transition step between the hatchery and the wild, producing larger, fitter and healthier lobsters than can be produced in the hatchery facilities alone. These lobsters will have a great chance at survival in the wild once released and now need your help to take the plunge!
The NLH need to raise £40,000, which will go directly towards the following costs of Releasing Larry:
1) Retrieving the lobsters including the hiring of specialised boats used to lift the sea-based culture systems.
2) Employing qualified sea-going crew with technical expertise to remove lobsters from the containers at sea, undertake scientific data collection to inform release strategies and preparing the lobsters for transportation to the release sites.
3) Transporting the lobsters to release sites across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. These include sea-based and land-based teams of lobster experts to carefully monitor and care for the lobsters on their journey, temperature controlled equipment and facilities to ensure lobster survival on land, as well as the further associated costs of release.
4) Decommissioning of our sea-based systems.
If we exceed our target, we will use the money to conduct community education work raising awareness in marine sustainability and protection of the marine environment.
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