The effects of temporary exclusion of activity due to wind farm construction on a lobster (Homarus gammarus) fishery suggests a potential management approach

  • Published source details Roach M., Cohen M., Forster R., Revill A.S. & Johnson M. (2018) The effects of temporary exclusion of activity due to wind farm construction on a lobster (Homarus gammarus) fishery suggests a potential management approach. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 75, 1416-1426.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit all types of fishing

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

Establish temporary fisheries closures

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all types of fishing

    A site comparison study in 2011 of seven areas of soft seabed in the southern North Sea, Netherlands (Bergman et al. 2015) found that overall, an area closed to all fishing had similar invertebrate abundance, biomass, species richness and diversity, compared to six adjacent fished areas, after five years. For each metric, not all data were shown. From core samples, all areas had similar invertebrate abundance (min. 1,096/m2; (closed area); max. 1,778/m2 (fished area)), biomass (min. 32 g/m2 (closed area); max. 17 g/m2 (fished area)), number of species (closed: 16; open: 13–20), and diversity (as diversity indices). From dredge samples, invertebrate abundance and species diversity were similar in the closed area and five of six fished areas, while all areas had similar biomass (min. 61 g/m2 (closed area); max. 134 g/m2 (closed area)) and number of species (closed: 20; fished: 15–21). An offshore wind farm was constructed in 2006, with a 500 m buffer zone approximately 25 km2 around it closed to all shipping, and as such fishing. Invertebrates inside the closed area and at six nearby fished areas were surveyed in February 2011 using two methods.  Shorter-lived infauna (>1 mm) were sampled using sediment core (0.078 m2; 16 samples across the closed area; 8 samples/fished areas). Longer-lived infauna and epifauna (>7 mm) were sampled using a dredge (20 m2; 14 samples across the closed area; 6 samples/fished areas). All invertebrates were identified, counted, and weighed (results are for dry weights).

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson & Laura Pettit)

  2. Establish temporary fisheries closures

    A before-and-after, site comparison study in 2013–2015 of two rock and cobble sites off the Holderness coast, northeast UK, North Sea (Roach et al. 2018) found that reopening a site to fishing following a temporary 20-month closure during wind farm construction led to lower total abundance but similar marketable abundance of European lobsters Homarus gammarus a month after fishing resumed compared to a continuously-fished site. Total abundance was similar at both sites after 20 months of closure and before reopening (reopened: 113; fished: 107 lobsters) but reduced at the reopened site after a month (72), with no change at the fished site (108). Before reopening, the abundance of marketable lobsters (>87 mm) was higher at the reopened site (37) compared to the fished site (12) but decreased at both sites to similar levels following reopening (reopened: 9; fished: 8). In 2014–2015 a 35 km2 windfarm was constructed approximately 10 km offshore. The area was closed to all fishing for 20 months during construction, until August 2015. Lobsters were surveyed at a site inside the windfarm area and a site outside (1 km north) in June 2015 (before reopening) and in September 2015 (after reopening). During each survey, 11–13 strings of 30 baited pots were deployed at each site. Abundance (per string) and size of lobsters (carapace length) were recorded.

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson)

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