Lobster release at the offshore wind farm Riffgat, German Bight (North Sea) – preliminary results

Roland.Krone [ at ] awi.de


The European lobster (Homarus gammarus) population around the island of Helgoland (German Bight, North Sea) has been stagnating on a very low level for many decades. A mark-recapture study of hatchery-reared juvenile lobsters at the rocky island of Helgoland has shown that released lobsters are strong fidelity to their release sites. The present pilot project aims to test an offshore wind farm as a suitable habitat for lobsters. A successful settlement of lobsters at the underwater structures of wind farms would clearly contribute to ensure the persistence of this endangered species along the German coast. In summer 2014, 2,400 hatchery-reared and marked juvenile individuals of the Helgoland lobster stock had been released at the wind turbine foundations and their scour protections of the wind farm Riffgat. Subjects of investigation predominantly concern a) the density of released individuals necessary for a successful settlement at offshore structures and b) the development of the native mobile demersal megafauna at the locations, where the lobsters were released. The poster presents the lobster hatchery, the release of lobsters and the fauna inhabiting the wind turbine scour protections.

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Conference (Poster)
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17th Crustaceologist- Conference, 26 Mar 2015 - 29 Mar 2015, Bremerhaven, Germany.
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Krone, R. , Schmalenbach, I. , Janke, M. and Franke, H. D. (2015): Lobster release at the offshore wind farm Riffgat, German Bight (North Sea) – preliminary results , 17th Crustaceologist- Conference, Bremerhaven, Germany, 26 March 2015 - 29 March 2015 .

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