Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 52 Issue 2
Artificial habitats for benthic dwelling lobsters - analysis of 5 decades of research
*Ehud Spanier, 1 Kari L. Lavalli and Dor Edelist
Adult lobsters of the families Palinuridae, Nephropidae and Scyllaridae are important fisheries resources in tropical and temperate waters. They are nocturnally active and shelter during the day presumably as an anti-predatory adaptation. Recognizing that the need for shelter is paramount, current studies are aimed at development of artificial reefs (ARs) that imitate the natural shelters of lobsters, particularly those inhabiting hard substrates, and provide appropriate sheltering needs for relevant benthic ontogenetic stages. A review of the literature from the past 5 decades suggests that interest in developing ARs for lobsters has increased. Much of this increase in research efforts stems, on one hand, from a better understanding of the recruitment processes of several important commercial lobster species and, on the other hand, from the decline of many commercial lobster populations due to overfishing, diseases,man-made destruction of environment, and other natural phenomena. Most AR studies on lobsters are limited to a small number of species, confined locally, and are conducted only in the short term. Thus there is presently insufficient evidence to argue that these ARs are effective at increasing survival of lobsters at the population level and do little more than aggregate individuals on the reef. Long-term, large-scale, quantitative field studies of ARs of the commercially/ecologically most important lobster species are needed. Such studies will enable understanding of the actual role of these man-made structures in fisheries management and conservation of lobsters.
Lobsters, artificial reefs, man-made reefs, casitas, pesqueros, enhancement
Date : 01-03-2011