Translocate species - Translocate crustaceans
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Many populations of marine subtidal benthic invertebrate species have declined or been depleted due to the multiple threats they are under, such as habitat loss and overharvest (Airoldi et al. 2008; Hobday et al. 2000). To counteract this phenomenon, marine subtidal benthic invertebrates can be translocated from a site with a healthy population, either to introduce a species to a new site (where they did not historically occur), to reintroduce a species to a site (where they used to occur), or to enhance the population at a site where the species is already present by increasing its abundance (Hughes et al. 2008; Swan et al. 2016). As the outcomes of translocating species can vary largely with the type of species, studies have been grouped by broader taxonomic group (e.g: crustaceans such as lobsters or prawns; molluscs such as abalone, scallops, or mussels; worms).
When translocation is undertaken for a habitat-forming (biogenic) species, effects on the invertebrates associated with the habitat are reported in “Habitat restoration and creation – Translocate habitat-forming (biogenic) species”. Evidence from transplantation studies of hatchery-reared species is summarised under “Species management – Transplant/release captive-bred or hatchery-reared species” and “Habitat restoration and creation – Transplant/release captive-bred or hatchery-reared habitat-forming (biogenic) species”.
Airoldi L., Balata D. & Beck M.W. (2008) The gray zone: relationships between habitat loss and marine diversity and their applications in conservation. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 366, 8–15.
Hobday A.J., Tegner M.J. & Haaker P.L. (2000) Over-exploitation of a broadcast spawning marine invertebrate: decline of the white abalone. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 10, 493–514.
Hughes D.J., Poloczanska E.S. & Dodd J. (2008) Survivorship and tube growth of reef‐building Serpula vermicularis (Polychaeta: Serpulidae) in two Scottish sea lochs. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 18, 117–129.
Swan K.D., McPherson J.M., Seddon P.J. & Moehrenschlager A. (2016) Managing marine biodiversity: the rising diversity and prevalence of marine conservation translocations. Conservation Letters, 9, 239–251.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study in 2005–2007 in one area of rocky reef off the coast of southeastern Tasmania, Tasman Sea, Australia (Green & Gardner 2009) found that two years after southern rock lobsters Jasus edwardsii were translocated, their survival was similar to that of resident lobsters. Survival of translocated lobsters was 96–98% after two years, similar to resident lobsters (98%). In 2005, lobsters were translocated from a site where lobsters grew slowly to a site inside a marine reserve where resident lobsters grew faster. Survival was monitored for two years. Lobsters (n=1,998) were caught in the slow-growth site using baited pots, tagged, and kept in flow-through tanks with ambient seawater until release into the new site 2–3 days later. At the surface, batches of 50 lobsters were released into a net connected to a cage on the seabed. After 24h, all lobsters were released. Lobsters residing in the fast-growth site (2,668 in total) were tagged and monitored for comparison. Translocated and resident lobsters were resampled nine times using 20–60 baited pots. A mark-recapture model based on the number of recaptured tagged lobsters (457 translocated and 797 resident lobsters in total) was used to estimate percentage survival.Study and other actions tested