Project Details


The overall project objective was to restore a rare marine habitat at a strategically important locality (Læsø Trindel) with the purpose of conservation of marine biodiversity.

The more specific objectives include:
- Stabilization and restoration of a cave-forming stone reef to favorable conservation status.
- Conservation and proper management of a reef donor area (larval dispersal) for the oxygen depleted inner Danish waters.
- Implementation through dissemination and cross-sectoral co-operation among authorities and local stakeholders.

Offshore boulder reefs have a high biodiversity and are a biologically important reef type at national and European level. At national levels these reef types are rare and Læsø Trindel constitutes one of 51 reef areas included in the Danish Natura 2000 network.

In Denmark, shallow water boulder reefs have been extensively exploited for about a century, targeted for their easily accessible large boulders for constructing sea defenses and harbor jetties. A cautious estimate is that at least 34 km2 of boulders from predominantly shallow cavernous reefs have been extracted from Danish waters and national monitoring programs indicate that only around 5 ha of the total original cavernous reefs have been left untouched.

The field experimental work was based on baseline surveys to be followed up by a survey 4 years after the deployment of the boulders; i.e. a “Before-After” approach. One role that DTU Aqua had in the project was to participate in the design of the restoration together with the other project partners. Based on the results from the multi-beam echo-sounder survey of the area conducted by GEUS in 2005, the reef restoration design was developed through several meetings between engineers and biologists/ecologists (Støttrup et al. in prep.).

DTU Aqua’s main role in the project, however, was to document the ecology and biodiversity status of Læsø Trindel with focus on fish and shellfish assemblages before and after the restoration (Støttrup et al. 2014; Kristensen et al. 2 papers close to submission). This work was carried out in close collaboration with Aarhus University who is responsible for monitoring bottom fauna and flora.

The baseline study has been carried out in 2007, just before the deployment of the boulders that should stabilize the remains of the original reef and restore its earlier shallow-water cavernous reef function. In 2012 the area was revisited using the same methodology and sampling program as in the baseline study.

The project was coordinated by Danish Nature Agency and funded by EU LIFE.

Research area: Coastal Ecology
Research area: Marine Living Resources
Effective start/end date01/01/200501/07/2012


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