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About Us

We are a small, knowledgeable and dedicated team; who are working to create a sustainable future for the Yorkshire coast and the local Whitby area. Working closely with the Yorkshire coast fishing industry we aim to release 100,000 juvenile lobsters into the ocean every year.

Whitby Lobster Hatchery will create an inspirational and engaging way to teach young and old about the benefits of looking after our environment and also provide a space to study and research our marine habitats.

All this work results in 3 core values; CONSERVE, EDUCATE & RESEARCH

Meet the Team

JoeRedfern BSC MRes

Joe Redfern BSC MRes



Our manager Joe has a background in marine biology from Plymouth University and a master in Marine Bio from the Marine Biology Association. Joe has a wealth of experience having previously worked as a lobster fisherman, for the fisheries authority (NEIFCA) and various underwater jobs around the globe. Having worked previously as a commercial scallop diver on the south coast and a lobster fisherman here in Whitby, Joe make use of his qualifications and industry experience resulting in a diverse set of skills that includes hands-on practicality, project management and communications. His mission is to combine his academic & conservation background with sustainable commercial fishing, helping the sustainability and resilience of our coast well into the future. Joe has been with the project from its inception, helping to build the project from its early shoots.

Rio LightowlerBSC MRes

Rio Lightowler BSC MRes

Head Aquaculturist


Rio has expierence in aquaculture working at Mowi and Native Marine Centre Ltd. She has developed the know-how to help establish the first commercial cleaner fish company in the UK. Rio brings important hard-to-find experience having worked with breeding programmes plus established new production procedures which are all useful skills for our lobsters. Additional to her Masters degree in Marine Biology, she has a postgraduate diploma in Education and Training and Level 8 in Aquaculture Management from the University of Stirling, giving her knowledge, skills and natural leadership capabilities. All in all Rio is a valuable member of the team able to foster good communication, hard work and teamwork.


Linda Wild

Chair of Trustees


Linda Wild is the chair of our trustee board with a wealth of experiences across many fields, bringing a professional, considerate and determined factor to the board. Having served as a past Mayor of Whitby, Member of Whitby Town Deal Board and Whitby Town Council representative on Harbour Users Consultative Group, Linda has Whitby and especially Whitby harbour at the centre of her focus. Committing many hours to help steer and improve the town for generations to come. Linda is also the chair of Trustee of United Charities plus a keen photographer and observer of all things harbour and maritime related.


Alice Ackroyd



Alice is a specialist in HR, leadership development and small business development, with over 25 years experience helping growing organisations become vibrant workplaces where people and business thrive. She’s worked with all sorts of weird and wonderful organisations over the years, from consumer goods to transport companies and from hotels to pharmaceutical manufacturers. She brings a wealth of business experience and contacts to the team, and as a local to Whitby, and a PADI Divemaster her passion for all things marine makes her a perfect fit. Although we must mention Alice's other love, which is hockey, and which she has played for over 40 years! But we think that pretty soon she'll love lobsters more than hockey!


Andy Brown



Andy worked in senior blue chip management roles for The Burton Group, Boots, ASDA and Sky TV. He then founded a business transformation consultancy leading large scale business transformation projects and has served on a number of executive advisory boards including as a trustee for Yorkshire Cancer Research. Andy is currently non-executive director of Leeds based digital agency and Chairman of Welcome To Whitby CIC, working to boost Whitby as a destination. Andy brings his rich business experiences to the board, steering the charity in a way to ensure it's resilience and sustainability.


Richard Brewer



Richard's family has fished the waters of the Northeast for many years. Still today Richard and his two sons operate the last remaining trawl boat that works out of Whitby harbour. As an active member of the fishing community Richard is member of a Producer Organisation and is the NE representative for the National Federation of Fisherman's Organisation (NFFO).


James Cole



James Cole is Chairman of Whitby's Commercial Fishing Association. James comes from a long line of commercial Whitby fishermen. Currently he is the skipper of Good Intent which operates out of Whitby harbour and is one of the 4 boats permitted to land berried hens to our hatchery. James sees the hatchery project as one measure which will underpin the commercial fishing industry in Whitby and help to ensure the longevity of the ocean into the future.


Gail Mackle



Gail Mackle is well connected within the Whitby education network, currently working as a careers advisory. Gail is passionate about ensuring the best for the young people in the town, working tirelessly to provide the best opportunites. Gail brings education skills and networks to the trustee board.


Terry Pearson



Operates a successful 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. Terry has played a massive part in the early stages of this project, believing in the success of the project from day one.


Neil Pickard

Trustee (Treasurer)


Neil, along with his wife own The Ship Inn, Whitby right near the hatchery. Neil has owned and run a number of diverse companies including Hydraulics, Packaging and Fabrication as well as designed a number of products. Very pleased to be involved with the Whitby Lobster Hatchery, assisting local business and widening the education and understanding of what we all have in our local seas.


Mike Russel



Mike is a Whitby harbour veteran, with over 30 years experience saving lives at sea with the RNLI. Mike now works as an integral part of Whitby's fishing industry managing the fish quay and merchant tanks. Mike's invaluable experience with aquaculture and knowledge of the fishing industry makes him a great member of the team.


Adrian Roe



Local fisherman operating a potting fishing vessel, Nazanna, out of Whitby harbour. Adrain supplies his family owned wet fish shop in Baxtergate which was the first member of our 'Buy One Release One' scheme.

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Contact Details

Whitby Lobster Hatchery,
Pier Road,
North Yorkshire,
YO21 3PU,
United Kingdom

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