Who We Are
At the Yorkshire Lobster Hatchery we aim to release juvenile lobster into the ocean this will conserve lobster population and protect fishing livelihoods into the future. We also aim to offer a visitors centre showcasing native marine species and the work of the hatchery. We stand by three core values:
The Yorkshire Lobster Hatchery aims to protect Whitby’s fishing heritage by conserving the local lobster populations. To do this we will release 100,000 juvenile lobsters into the sea; offsetting the number of lobsters caught by Whitby’s fishing fleet and protecting the region’s lobster industry for generations to come.
Alongside the hatchery, we intend to provide an educational and interactive marine discovery centre to showcase not only our work in the hatchery but also to introduce a host of other, lesser-known marine species native to the UK. We look forward to welcoming members of the public and school groups to learn about the life of lobsters, Whitby’s unique fishing heritage and how much difference marine conservation can make. Our discovery centre will also introduce six new jobs within the local area whilst providing a healthy boost to Whitby’s tourism industry.
Our state-of-the-art hatchery system will also serve as an institute of research in partnership with local universities, offering a reliable source of current data as well as invaluable experience for marine conservation students through a series of internship programs. We hope to connect and collaborate with lobster hatcheries across the country to understand more about the life of this incredible and valuable creature.
Whitby’s prestigious fishing heritage was built upon an abundance of white fish, however, the 1980s saw the UK’s white fish industry collapse through overfishing and mismanagement. Subsequently, considerable investment was made in crab and lobster potting boats, as both are highly sought-after products and continue to fetch a high price today.
Inevitably, this has resulted in increased pressure on local lobster stocks and we are concerned that history is in danger of repeating itself. If the lobster industry does collapse, just like the whitefish industry only 40 years ago, dozens of fishing boats and hundreds of people will be out of work, effectively putting an end to a historic fishing community that has made Whitby famous around the world.
CONCEPT design visualisation (Pier Road view)
Lobsters produce up to 20,000 eggs per cycle, which are released into the water as larvae. However, statistically, only 1% of these larvae survive. By developing the eggs safely in our hatchery, we can eliminate many early risks by growing the eggs until they are juvenile lobsters, mature enough to be independent, bottom-dwelling creatures. This intervention alone will dramatically increase the larval survival rate to 30 - 50%.
Once they’re ready, we’ll release these juvenile lobsters into the sea where they will fortify the existing lobster population year on year. Juvenile lobsters take 5-7 years to grow to market size and during this time they will reach sexual maturity and begin to release eggs of their own. At the Yorkshire Lobster Hatchery, we believe that this conservation method, alongside effective management, will protect lobster fishing in Whitby by strengthening local lobster stocks and securing jobs for Whitby’s fishing fleet.
Proof of Impact
Lobsters hatcheries are slowly being introduced at major lobster ports all over the world. The National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, for example, has been running for 20 years and releases thousands of juveniles into the sea every cycle.
Tagging of these released juveniles has established ground-breaking proof that hatchery-reared individuals can survive and indeed thrive in the wild. There is clear evidence that hatchery-reared juveniles integrate seamlessly with the native breeding stock upon maturity and therefore directly contribute to local fisheries landings.
Funding this project will enable us to set our ideas in motion. We want to completely rejuvenate the Pier Road area of Whitby, which is currently in a disused and derelict state.
We’ll work with local architects to revolutionise the look and function of the fish quay, housing our cutting-edge hatchery whilst also honouring the aesthetic of Whitby’s rich fishing heritage. To do this we’ll need to help of surveyors and structural engineers, so your funding will get our designs through the planning stages and give the Yorkshire Lobster Hatchery a base of operations.
Within the Pier Road site, we also intend to establish our interactive discovery centre where visitors can learn about our conservation work and other marine life native to our waters. We will use the money raised to consult designers behind some of the country’s most eye-catching and engaging zoo exhibitions to ensure our centre conveys why the work we do is so important to Whitby’s lobsters, Whitby’s fisherman and to Whitby itself.
CONCEPT design visualisation (harbour view)
Operates the fish merchant business on Whitby fish. Terry has a passion for high quality sustainable seafood and is well connected with many local fishing businesses as well as other relevant stakeholders in the industry throughout the UK.
Previously worked for the fisheries authority and has experience in local fisheries management. With a degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology and an MRes in Marine Biology from the University of Plymouth, Joe combines his qualifications and industry experience with a diverse skill set that includes hands-on practicality, project management and communications.
York based Ian Hazard Architect, working throughout North Yorkshire, is a contemporary architecture and design practice focussing on high quality contextual design.
Paul Bullimore (Zooscapes)
Creative and lively character with over 20 years of experience within the industry. As a consultant Paul focuses on helping clients to design, plan and develop amazing visitor experiences worldwide. A key focus for Zooscapes is in developing a clear and concise, well laid out design package.
With a vast array of knowledge all things lobster babies and hatchery systems our hatchery specialist are the best people for the job.
Why support us?
By supporting us, you’re not just protecting the local lobster population, you are also supporting Whitby’s fishing fleets and fishing families. The fishing folk depend on healthy lobster stocks and even the smallest drop in catch volumes can result in real financial damage to their way of life.
Due to increasing demand for crab and lobster, Whitby’s world-renowned fishing heritage is under constant threat. Your support will help secure the industry now and open up opportunities for future generations. Creating a sustainable economic future for Whitby.
For commercial sponsorship/donations please contact
Key spending objects (vital steps to progress the project to next stage):
- Measured Survey of existing building To provide accurate plans, elevations, and sections of the existing building
- Structural Condition Survey & Appraisal Initial visual survey and inspection of existing building to confirm existing structural integrity and feasibility of architectural proposals
- Asbestos Survey Required to confirm presence of any asbestos containing materials that will require removal as part of the works.
- Water Quality test to analysis the quality of seawater for use in the hatchery
- Progression of exhibition design from conceptual to stage 2
- Complete the finalisation of the hatchery system design
With the extra investment, we can ensure that all our staff are fully trained and support throughout the project.
Additional spending objectives:
- Structural Engineer to provide initial structural design input to concept design proposals and to continue providing structural design support throughout project
- Building Services Engineer to provide schematic designs and scope of new building services installation including water supply, drainage, heating and electrical services
- Quantity Surveyor Required at Work To provide initial Cost Plan and to develop a cost Plan along with design proposals as the project progresses.
- Planning/Heritage Consultant The existing building is located within the Whitby Conservation Area, and the Planning Consultant/Heritage consultant will assist with the development of the required Heritage Statement, outlining and confirming the extent of any harm that the proposals are expected to have upon local heritage assets.
We will use additional funds to develop the visitor experience so any support you can give will be used to make our facility the best it can be.