Residency and habitat use of European lobster (Homarus gammarus) within an offshore wind farm

H Thatcher, T Stamp, D Wilcockson, PJ Moore

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2 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

As offshore wind energy developments increase globally in response to climate change, it is important to gain an understanding of the effects they are having on the marine environment. Whilst there is growing information on the types of organisms present within these sites, our knowledge of how species interact with these sites is limited. For the first time we examined the movements and habitat utilization of a temperate decapod, the European Lobster Homarus gammarus, using acoustic telemetry within an offshore wind farm (OWF). Innovasea V9 acoustic transmitters were externally attached to 33 individuals (carapace length = 87-113 mm) at three turbine locations within an offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea. Individuals were found to exhibit high residency to the tagging sites, with over half of tagged lobsters present at the tagging sites for 70% of the study period. Individual home ranges and core territories were calculated using 95% and 50% kernel density, respectively. Home ranges ranged from 9313.76 to 23 156.48m2 while core territories ranged from 1084.05 to 6037.38m2. Over 50% of all detections were recorded within 35 m of the scour protection. These results suggest that particular areas of habitat within fixed-turbine OWFs provide a suitable habitat for lobsters. We postulate that this is likely the result of artificial reef effects arising from the addition of artificial hard substate into previously soft sediment dominated habitats. Therefore, future fixed-turbine OWF developments across Europe may provide potential fishery opportunities as a result of artificial reef effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfsad067
Pages (from-to)1410-1421
Number of pages12
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Volume80
Issue number5
Early online date27 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • acoustic telemetry
  • homarus gammarus
  • offshore wind energy
  • residency
  • tracking
  • HOME-RANGE
  • ACOUSTIC TELEMETRY
  • ACTIVITY PATTERNS
  • ARTIFICIAL REEFS
  • SHORT-TERM
  • MOVEMENT
  • DYNAMICS
  • BEHAVIOR
  • FOUNDATIONS
  • AMERICANUS

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  • ECOSTRUCTURE

    Ironside, J. (PI)

    Interreg

    01 Mar 201730 Sept 2022

    Project: Externally funded research

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