Habitat restoration and protection effects on european lobsters (Homarus gammarus): the livø stone reef marine protected area, Limfjorden

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Abstract

The Limfjorden has a significant European lobster (Homarus gammarus) population since the mid- 2000’s, following 4 decades of being virtually absent, supporting the largest Danish lobster fishery currently at 45 tonnes and 7 Mio.kr. per year, with significant economic and cultural value to local coastal communities. The Livø stone reefs (LR) were established in 2016 to restore a rare, degraded habitat and associated ecosystem services. A small, protected area (MPA) surrounding the reefs and closed to fishing was created in 2018. The effects of the LR-MPA on lobsters by providing rare reef habitat as well as fishing protection, were evaluated in 2021. Higher abundance, larger sizes and increased reproductive potential were observed in the LR-MPA relative to fished areas, as well as indication of sex specific habitat and protection effects. Lobsters showed high-site fidelity, occasionally with significant movements between LR-MPA and adjacent non-MPA areas. A clear positive effect of LR-MPA on the lobster population was thus observed after only 3 years since its implementation, likely resulting from increased survival and growth but also immigration and retention of large lobsters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication22. Danske Havforskermøde Abstract book
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
Publication date2024
Pages50-50
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event22. Danske Havforskermøde - DTU Aqua, Lyngby, Denmark
Duration: 23 Jan 202425 Jan 2024
Conference number: 22

Conference

Conference22. Danske Havforskermøde
Number22
LocationDTU Aqua
Country/TerritoryDenmark
CityLyngby
Period23/01/202425/01/2024

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