BBC's Countryfile heads to Cornwall and frees hundreds of lobsters

BBC presenter Charlotte Smith was spotted at a marine charity for an upcoming episode of Countryfile where hundreds of tiny lobsters were released into the sea. The National Lobster Hatchery is a conservation, research and education charity based in Padstow, Cornwall and is known as the Centre for Excellence in Lobster Science.

According to the charity, lobsters are the most valuable fish caught in the UK and are part of a major export industry worth over £40m each year. However, they are subject to considerable fishing pressure and vulnerable to catastrophic stock collapse.

With the increase in the world's population, the demand for seafood is due to expand massively. A female lobster can carry around 20,000 eggs, however, only one of these is expected to survive in the wild. This charity aims to improve this survival rate by about 1000 times with modern technology as well as improving the way we treat our living marine resources.

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On her tour, Charlotte Smith explored the hatchery and spoke to Ben Marshall, head of production at the charity, who enlightened her about marine conservation and the difficult work involved in bringing up and setting free lobsters.

Nicola O'Donnell, chief operations officer at The National Lobster Hatchery, voiced her joy over their feature on BBC's Countryfile and stated: "We were thrilled to be asked to feature on BBC Countryfile, a fantastic programme to be a part of, and an incredible opportunity to raise awareness of our project, and engage a wider audience in conservation here in Cornwall."

Countryfile was launched in 1988 and replaced the long-running show Farming to cover a broader view of the countryside. According to the Radio Times, the series has kept pace with changing issues in the countryside addressing issues from homelessness and domestic violence to rural, agricultural, and environmental issues.

In the episode, viewers were treated to watching Smith team up for the hatchery's baby lobster release which took place at Constantine Bay where hundreds of young lobsters were let loose.

Expressing her delight, Nicola O'Donnell declared: "We typically talk to thousands of people each year about the rearing and release of our lobsters, so to have our work shared with such a massive audience is a huge privilege and a wonderful way to highlight the charity as we head into our 25th year."

Closing notes from her welcome the watchers of Countryfile to visit the hatchery and discover more about their venture. Find out more here.

Countryfile is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.