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The co-location of offshore windfarms and decapod fisheries in the UK: Constraints and opportunities


Citation Hooper, T. and Austen, M. The co-location of offshore windfarms and decapod fisheries in the UK: Constraints and opportunities. 2014. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2013.06.011.
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Author(s) Hooper, T. and Austen, M.
Opus Title Marine Policy
Pages 295-300
Volume 43
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2013.06.011
Abstract

The offshore wind sector in the UK is expanding rapidly and is set to occupy significant areas of the coastal zone, making it necessary to explore the potential for co-location with other economic activities. The presence of turbine foundations introduces hard substrates into areas previously dominated by soft sediments, implying that artificial reef effects may occur, with potential benefits for fisheries. This review focuses on the possibilities for locating fisheries for two commercially important decapods, the brown crabCancer pagurusand the European lobsterHomarus gammarus, within offshore wind farms.

Existing understanding of habitat use byC. pagurusandH. gammarussuggests that turbine foundations have the potential to act as artificial reefs, although the responses of these species to noise and electromagnetic fields arepoorly understood. Offshore wind farm monitoring programmes provide very limited information, but do suggest that adultC. pagurusassociate with turbine foundations, which may also serve as nursery areas. There was insufficient deployment and monitoring of rock armouring to draw conclusions about the association ofH. gammaruswith offshore wind farm foundations. The limited information currently available demonstrates the need for further research into the ecological and socio-economic issues surrounding fishery co-location potential.