The Land of Lower Saxony is promoting a pilot project on the settlement of the European lobster in the “Riffgat“ offshore windpark with just under EUR 700,000. Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, are now starting on the rearing of 3,000 lobsters which they will be releasing in 2014. They wish to investigate whether lobsters successfully settle between the wind turbines.
Lobster under water
Photo: Uwe Nettelmann, Alfred Wegener Institute
New structures are created on the bottom of the North Sea with the construction of the windpark. Sand and silt soils dominate the bed in the German Bight; wind turbines are offering other ecosystems a new settlement area in the form of so-called hard substrate. One example of a rocky bed dweller is the European lobster which hides in crevices during the day and becomes active at night. Researchers at the Biological Institute Heligoland, which belongs to the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, wish to place lobsters in this newly created habitat.
The Land of Lower Saxony, represented by the NLWKN (Lower Saxony Institute for Water Management, Coastal Protection and Nature Conservation), is funding the three-year pilot project ”Lobster settlement in the Riffgat windpark“ with just under EUR 700,000. The money comes from the compensation payments under nature conservation law for the „Riffgat“ windpark. An agreement has been concluded between the NLWKN and the AWI to use this funding. The project is intended to investigate the basic possibility of and the conditions for and ecological consequences of a lobster settlement of this kind.
Notes for Editors:Printable images are available at http://www.awi.de/en/news/press_releases/.
Ralf Röchert | idw
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