World Ocean Day

    The ocean holds a special place in the hearts of those who call Cornwall home. Many of us grow up with our lives intertwined with the sea, whether it’s swimming, sailing, or simply enjoying the stunning coastal views. On World Ocean Day, we want to shine a spotlight on our members who dedicate their efforts to conserving and protecting our precious marine environment.

    The National Lobster Hatchery

    Based on South Quay, in Padstow, The National Lobster Hatchery is focused on marine conservation, research and education. Along with their hatchery, where lobsters are hatched, brought up and then released back into the wild, the charity also has an educational visitor centre for people to truly immerse themselves in the world of lobster.

    With fishing pressures, plus the impacts of climate change, lobster populations are being put at risk. The hatchery aims to raise awareness of the issues faced, and how to address them. In the wild, only 1 in 20,000 lobster eggs are expected to survive, but the charity’s efforts improve survival rates by an astonishing 1000 times!

    The charity relies on donations and public support to keep doing the fantastic work they’re doing around the coast of Cornwall and encourages people to head over to their visitor centre, which is open all year round, seven days a week. Visitors can get up close with rarely seen lobster babies, pregnant lobster mamas, giant lobsters and other weird and wonderful coastal creatures.

    For more information about The National Lobster Hatchery, visit and follow @Padstowlobster on social media.

    Cornish Seal Sanctuary

    Nestled against the Helford River, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek rescues and rehabilitates grey seal pups from the Cornish coastline. Each season, from September to March, over 70 seal pups are rescued due to malnourishment or separation from their mothers. The Sanctuary nurses these pups back to health, releasing them once they're strong enough.

    The Sanctuary offers a behind-the-scenes look at their life-saving work. You can observe the care processes for rescued seal pups, from initial rescue to rehabilitation at their seal hospital. Visitors can also get up close to resident seals that need permanent homes at the Sanctuary for special care reasons, housed in spacious enclosures.

    Visitors can explore Puffin Island, new for 2024, home to ten Icelandic rescue puffins, each with unique personalities. The puffins, known for their charming and quirky behaviours, are a delightful addition to the Sanctuary and visitors are sure to fall in love with them at first sight.

    Also housing a woodland quiz trail, café, and scenic walks, it's a perfect family day out. The Sanctuary regularly hosts a variety of seasonal events and activities, ensuring there's always something new to discover.

    Ocean wildlife tours

    If you're as lucky as to have spotted wildlife along our shores, you will know we're home to a bounty of marine life, including seals, dolphins, and even the odd whale. Exploring the Cornish coastline by sea offers a unique opportunity to see marine wildlife up close in a way that prioritises both your safety and the well-being of the animals. Dedicated tours in Cornwall ensure that animal conservation and safety are at the heart of their operations.

    AK Wildlife Cruises Based in Falmouth, AK Wildlife Cruises offers various tours, including 3-hour bay explorations, 4-hour trips, and full-day ocean adventures. With a focus on eco-tourism and responsible wildlife watching, these tours allow you to see dolphins, porpoises, and even whales in their natural habitat. AK Wildlife Cruises is WiSe Master accredited, ensuring that all interactions with wildlife are conducted safely and respectfully.

    Marine Discovery Penzance Marine Discovery Penzance offers eco-friendly sailing tours aboard the catamaran Shearwater II. Enjoy 2 to 4-hour trips where you can spot dolphins, seals, and seabirds. During their tours Marine Discovery also collect scientific data helping to understand the marine environment and its creatures to properly conserve them. By choosing a tour with Marine Discovery, you are directly supporting marine conservation efforts.

    Padstow Sealife Safaris Padstow Sealife Safaris offers thrilling boat tours that explore the rugged North Cornish coastline. Their tours emphasise the conservation of local marine life and provide opportunities to see seals, porpoises, and occasionally basking sharks. Padstow Sealife Safaris is committed to educating the public on the importance of protecting these incredible creatures and their habitats.

    By choosing these responsible tour operators, you can enjoy the beauty of Cornwall’s marine life while supporting vital conservation efforts. For more details and to book your adventure, visit their respective websites.

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