Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Offshore wind farms create good habitats for lobsters – research

13 Jul 2023 2 minute read
An offshore wind farm

Offshore wind farms could offer new habitats for lobsters and possible biodiversity benefits, according to new research led by Aberystwyth University academics.

According to the study published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science, particular areas of habitat within offshore windfarms provide a suitable living environment for lobsters.

These new turbines placed off the coast are believed to create a type of artificial reef, adding a hard substrate into areas where there was previously soft sediment.

For the research, tens of lobsters were tagged within a windfarm in the Irish sea, and their movements tracked. Monitored by the academics with acoustic telemetry, the animals could be observed living close to the areas of hard substrate within the wind farms.

The data indicates that these areas have the potential to provide suitable habitat for lobsters.

Shelter

Dr David Wilcockson from Aberystwyth University, who was one of the researchers on the project, said: “It is these kinds of rocks and boulders where lobsters normally shelter, and so these artificial reef effects we have seen are logical.

“The findings indicate that offshore wind farms could provide a suitable habitat for crustaceans. As well as the environmental benefits traditionally associated with wind farms, we are now seeing this as an extra biodiversity boost that should be considered by policy makers.

Harry Thatcher, a PhD student at Aberystwyth, and lead author of the study, commented:

“The introduction of this hard substrate could also have other potential advantages. By creating possible new habitats for lobsters, they could also offer sustainable fishing opportunities across Europe. Indeed, as some other sources disappear, this could be seen as a way of helping stocks for the fishing industry.”

The research was led by academics at Aberystwyth University, alongside researchers at Plymouth and Newcastle Universities.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
3 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
9 months ago

That’s great news, however, check what the Saesneg and the dirty swines at the NFU are up to now: “One of Britain’s most well-loved rivers has been pushed towards “complete ecological collapse” after farming unions successfully lobbied the government to water down key environmental legislation, openDemocracy can reveal. Natural England recently downgraded the status of the River Wye, a designated Special Area of Conservation due to a decline of key species. The decline is partly due to large quantities of manure being washed into the river from neighbouring farmland – with campaigners warning that environmental laws to limit the waste… Read more »

Jonathan Dean
Jonathan Dean
9 months ago

Gwych!

Tim Smith
9 months ago

If you ignore the PFAS and BPA pollution they cause

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.