VIDEO: Divers release baby lobsters into Plymouth Sound
HUNDREDS of baby lobsters have been released into Plymouth waters as part of a major marine conservation project.
A team of scuba divers led the successful effort just off Penlee Point.
The group of divers from the British Sub-Aqua Club were enlisted to ensure the little creatures made it to their new, wild home.
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Mark Pearce, 40, is a Visits Licensee of the Coronation ship wreck, a British gun ship which sank off Penlee Point, Plymouth in 1691.
Around 800 lobsters were taken 18 metres below the surface in special trays which keep them in separate chambers to prevent the naturally cannibalistic creatures from eating one another in transit.
Speaking after the release, Mark, a butcher by trade, said: "I am relieved to say it was a very successful release and the weather was kind to us so I really do think we have given them the best possible start in life.
"It was very interesting to watch how some of them would be off, quick as a flash, burrowing down and making a new home, others hung around on your glove for a bit longer.
"I suspect they were in shock about being out in the big wide world but instinct soon took over and they were away."
Mark organised the dive on behalf of the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow which is masterminding the environmental conservation programme.
As Visits Licensee for the wreck, he monitors and controls who is allowed to dive on the wreck and two years ago, the Coronation Wreck Project decided a no take zone would be enforced on the area meaning no sea life can be brought to the surface without permission.
Andy Squirrell, Diving Officer for the Bude branch of BSAC, said: "We ended up having to referee some of them.
"One would spend the time making itself a new burrow and then two or three others would come along and start trying to muscle in. We had to help shoo them off otherwise they would just end up killing one another.
"It has been a terrific project to be part of and a very special dive to remember."