Theo Johns

Aquaculture Technician

Theo's job title is Aquaculture Technician at the National Lobster Hatchery

What I do

We help restock the population of lobsters around the Cornish coastline. There was a big crash in the lobster stock in the late 80s/90s due to fishing, so it’s important work. We bring in female lobsters, which are called berried hens, and we house them in our aquaculture systems. We house them until the eggs have hatched, keeping the small larvae for a couple of months, until they are big enough to be released in different locations around the Cornish coastline.

View over the water

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How I became a technician

I studied Physics, Chemistry, Human Biology and Maths at A-level. I was interested in physiotherapy but then I took a year out and decided to go for a broad science degree instead, studying Environment Science. It included lots of chemistry, ecology, conservation and a lot of the studies were marine based because we were in Bournemouth. Most of my training in aquaculture has been through volunteering at the National Lobster Hatchery. It has all been hands-on, on-the-job training, rather than any formal qualifications.

A typical day in my
working life

A little more about
my everyday role

What I love most about my job

I love that it is so varied. I like being hands-on, dealing with the fishermen and going out on lobster releases. Once the lobsters are about an inch or so in size we will release them out from the shore, go out with fishermen and pump them to the bottom ocean, or we use a dive club who will take them down for us. It is really satisfying because you know you are having a positive impact. 

The best bits about working in a team

I work in a small team in Newlyn. Everyone works closely together towards the same goals and we all get on really well, which I love!

The most exciting thing I’ve achieved so far in my job

Re-establishing the hatchery in Newlyn because it was closed for several years due to lack of funding. We stripped it back and renovated it, which was really satisfying. The fishermen have said that what we are doing is making a difference and they are positive for the future of the lobster population.

The next steps in my career journey

I’m very happy where I am and excited by what I do. In the future I would like to see what opportunities arise in marine conservation and explore them, but I don’t have a specific focus or drive for one role. As long as I stay fulfilled, I will continue in this field.

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