Dredging contractors support first lobster hatchery on the Essex coastline

Harwich Haven Authority, and a joint venture between dredging contractors Boskalis Westminster and Van Oord, have just announced that they are supporting a local lobster hatchery, which aims to improve the sustainability of the lobster population on the North-East Essex Coast, England.

The project is being led by the newly created Community Interest Company, Thames Estuary Lobster Hatchery. The hatchery, the first of its kind on the North-East Essex/Thames coast, is based in Brightlingsea, Essex.

“I’m very grateful to Harwich Haven Authority, Boskalis Westminster and Van Oord for their help with the creation of the Hatchery. Over the past few months, we’ve been busy installing specialist equipment and preparing for the release of our first batch of lobster hatchlings, which we hope will go into the waters of the Haven very soon,” commented Gary Humm, owner of the Thames Estuary Lobster Hatchery.

Neil Glendinning, CEO, Harwich Haven Authority added: “Our role as a trust port is to Protect, Conserve and Improve the Haven for the benefit of all stakeholders. Importantly, we are also committed to ensuring that future generations can also enjoy and benefit from it too.”

“I’m delighted that we, and our partners Boskalis Westminster and Van Oord, have been able to support this initiative to increase lobster stocks and improve biodiversity in the Haven waters. I can think of no better legacy to our major capital harbour improvement project than ensuring the sustainability of the lobster population in our waters.”

Leading dredging specialists Boskalis Westminster and Van Oord have been awarded a joint contract by Harwich Haven Authority to carry out works on its £120 million harbour improvement project to deepen the Haven approach channel and the inner harbour. This nationally significant project is set to futureproof the Haven ports capacity to handle the largest container vessels in operation.

According to HHA, all parties are very focused on supporting sustainable projects that have beneficial outcomes for people living in and around the Haven. Working closely with the local Harwich Fisherman’s Association it was recognised that supporting biodiversity, sustainability and the management of the lobster population in the Haven would be an excellent project to support.

Photo: Gary Humm, owner, Thames Estuary Lobster Hatchery