Plan being drawn up for lobster hatchery

Amble Harbour Village.
Amble Harbour Village.

A lobster hatchery and aquaculture research centre are in the pipeline for in Amble’s flourishing Harbour Village if funding bids are successful.

The town’s development trust is working on the scheme, designed to boost the area’s tourism offering, as well as exploring environmental benefits.

Julia Aston, from the development trust, said that the lobster hatchery would aim to improve the sustainability of Amble’s fishery, which is increasingly turning to shellfish, therefore the trust needs to ensure there is sufficient replacement growing stock to aid recuperation.

She said that the plan would be to extend this by working with Newcastle University and Northumberland Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority to look at various scientific research developments, to see what can be done to ensure the area’s fisheries continue to grow and expand from larvae, through growth to harvesting.

Students would work in the aquaculture centre, which would be based in the Seafood Centre at Amble’s Harbour Village.

Julia said: “We have had two staged feasibility studies done for the lobster hatchery and we are writing up a business plan that will accompany any funding application that we submit.

“We are waiting for the next round of funding from the European Fisheries Fund to open. It is at an early stage, but it would be a boost to both local tourism and our fisheries.”

○ Last week, the Gazette said that plans were being developed for an agricultural research centre, instead of an aquaculture research centre. We apologise for the mistake.