Starfish—power and management (Søstjerner) (39087)

Project Details


The overall objective of the project was to provide the scientific basis for management that can lead to the establishment of a commercial fishery of starfish (Asterias rubens) in primarily the Limfjorden, including Natura 2000 areas. 
The project background was the increasing prevalence of starfish that is both a threat to the mussel fishing and a potential source of income for fishing. 
In the project, the population of starfish and production was determined and analyzed and based on population stock estimates and stock modeling a total allowable quota of 10,000 tonnes annually was estimated as a conservative annual catch, which is considered sufficient to maintain a potential starfish meal industry. Effect of fishing was determined both for the population of starfish, the stock of mussels and benthic components like infauna and macroalgae. 
It was shown that using the starfish purse seine will have no or negligible effects on infauna and blue mussels. In terms of biodiversity and biomass of macro algae, no significant effects of the purse seine, including a load of 300 tonnes of starfish in the net, could be detected. Torn of macro algae leafs were however detected in the purse seine after fishery over macro algae habitats and this was included in management advise on effects of starfish fisheries. 
A guide for management including recommendations on environmental impact and starfish populations were developed.

This project was coordinated by DTU Aqua and funded by the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).
Research area: Shellfish and SeaweedResearch area: Coastal EcologyResearch area: Marine Living ResourcesResearch area: Ecosystem based Marine Management 
Effective start/end date01/01/201430/06/2015


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