Place Category: Environment
Our aim is to help maintain a healthy lobster population in Cornwall, promoting sustainable fisheries & aquaculture through conservation, education and research.
To halt the decline in the lobster population around the Cornish coast, we:
(a) to establish a lobster hatchery to produce juvenile lobsters.
(b) to release juvenile lobsters into lobster fishing grounds, predominantly, but not exclusively around Cornwall.
(c) to commission, carry out and take part in present and future marine ecology and conservation projects at the hatchery
(d) to carry out research projects which support the Company’s Objects including research into life cycle and ecological needs of lobsters in the wild and research to improve methods of keeping, breeding and rearing lobsters in captivity.
(e) to support the local economy by increasing the viability of the lobster fishing industry.
(f) to promote the education of the public in marine ecology and conservation.
(g) to provide educational facilities and educational opportunities for schools and other groups.
Social Impact Declaration: Social-Impact-Declaration_National-Lobster-Hatchery-1.pdf
Social Impact Statements:
Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated March 2018
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
The Charity has three main outputs, supported by income raised through its visitor centre, partnerships with other organisations, grant income and support from individuals. These are education, conservation and research.
By delivering these programmes the charity hopes to generate real impact by creating excellent science that can inform policy, resulting in better managed stocks and ultimately greater prosperity in coastal communities. The Charity’s programmes also provide additional stock for the lobster populations with the aim of stabilising lobster populations and increasing stocks for the benefit of all users of the sea.
The focus of the Visitor centre has been on fisheries sustainability issues and the role of fisheries management both traditional and novel. The single species approach lends itself well to the delivery of clear fisheries messages using the lobster as an example species. An increasingly important activity is the promotion of consumer choice as a method of engaging the general public.
We have three educational objectives which we deliver to the general public through our visitor centre and to schools and colleges through an outreach officer:
- To promote the conservation of the lobster populations around the Cornish coast for the public benefit
- To promote a sympathetic understanding of the importance of the European lobster from an ecological, economic and social perspective
- Promote sustainable fishing and fisheries management practices.
Conservation by stock enhancement
Stock enhancement is a novel and complementary approach to fisheries management, which aims to offset some of the pressure applied to the stock by human activities. This takes an interventional approach that complements other fisheries management tools.
The conservation programme involves the fishing industry, scientists, the local community and the general public. Stock enhancement involves raising juvenile lobsters through their vulnerable stages and then releasing them into the wild when they have reached a less vulnerable stage in their lifecycle. This programme is based on the findings of previous researchers in the UK, Norway and Germany who have established clear proof of principal relating to the positive impacts of stocking.
The science behind stocking is still poorly developed and there are a bewildering array of questions that we either have no, or inadequate answers to. This makes the practical application of the science both difficult and risky. For this reason, we have developed a roadmap that lays out the key developmental areas for the Charity to examine (see the Charity’s Science strategy).
A key research priority of the NLH is to monitor and understand the impact on lobster populations and fishermen’s catches of its stock enhancement programme. This work will provide answers to many of the questions surrounding the effects of stocking large numbers of lobster juveniles into the sea. At the same time the Charity is working on a series of In-house research and technical developments that focus on improving the technology and protocols required to produce environmentally enriched lobsters at an appropriate cost for stocking purposes, thus improving our stocking outputs.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
- A lobster stocking service for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
- A research and development service based around stocking and aquaculture of the European Lobster
- An education and awareness raising programme based on Fisheries sustainability issues
- Specifically we have been operating a large research programme developing ongrowing technology for the European lobster, a research programme looking at stabilising hatchery production, we have installed an additional hatchery facility and we have run an outreach programme.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
- Additional lobsters added to populations and to fishermen’s catches
- Improved Intellectual capital relating to the sustainability of lobster populations
- Improved public understanding of fisheries sustainability issues
- Additional visitors driven to Padstow to visit our centre (estimated as 18% of our visitors or 8.5K additional visitors to Padstow).
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
We monitor KPI’s, which include the number of visitors attracted to the centre, the number of lobsters released and the number of publications/presentations produced. We also monitor the % of people who have expressed an improvement in their knowledge relating to fisheries sustainability issues and who say they will alter their consumer choice.
We are working on developing systems to further-understand the impact of the stocking programme. This is a vast undertaking and will consist of a significant research programme over a period of many years.
The below questions are not mandatory, but Mark holders are encouraged to answer them where possible, to provide a fuller account of their social outcomes and the social value they create.
5) How many people have benefitted from your actions?
- 47,000 visitors to our visitor centre
- School visits; over 200 classes (10,500 people), over 60 class visits (1,500 people) to the NLH and over 22 events (300,000 people) over the past 3 years
- Approximately 400 shellfish permit holders (fishermen) in Cornwall
- The inhabitants of the 50 coastal communities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
- Anyone who is a consumer of the European lobster
- Anyone who has an interest in the long term sustainable exploitation of the species (includes everyone involved in the supply chain and anyone who benefits from the ecological services that lobsters perform).
6) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
Fisheries outreach programme beneficiary feedback
We have been very motivated by the positive feedback we have consistently received in response to the education programme we have delivered through FOP. An example is given below:
“Thank you sooooooooo much Cat. It was fantastic to have your enthusiasm and energy in our class. The children loved the lobster and all the fun activities you prepared and I know I learnt a lot about lobsters. I am really looking forward to some follow-up lessons next week. Thank you for the injection of energy that we needed at this exhausting time of year.”
-Alex Wells, Landewednack CP School.
7) What social and environmental benefits have you created from internal operational policies and actions?
The charity’s mission is all about improving the long term environmental sustainability of the lobster fishery for the benefit of all, its educational programme is about the broader environmental issues associated with Fisheries.
Lobster Grower 2 (research and innovation programme) has developed a series of Innovations that are designed to introduce a novel approach to crustacean aquaculture that has no feed inputs and encourages marine bio-diversity – We were awarded ‘the best contribution to a sustainable food economy’ award at the Cornwall Sustainability awards 2017 for this project. The NLH will have invested over £1m into this programme over its 3-year lifetime.
We have a clear environmental policy, which incorporates re-cycling, energy usage, and other resource usage.
We rent our roof space to a company who have PV panels, which generate free electricity for the charity.