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2013, Holderness Fishing Industry GroupPrecision Marine Survey Ltd., Fish and Shellfish Monitoring

2013, Holderness Fishing Industry GroupPrecision Marine Survey Ltd., Fish and Shellfish Monitoring

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Epifauna and Fish

Description

The UK government actively supports the development of renewable energy sources, with offshore
wind farms (OWF) being its’ primary focus. The Holderness Coast fishery, in the North East coast of
the England, is situated in an area of significant OWF construction. This study focused on the
Westermost Rough OWF development. It aimed to contribute to an attempt to address deficiencies in
the current state of knowledge of the effects of OWFs on fish and shellfish populations, by providing a
baseline of pre-construction data. The survey was designed to accurately model local fishing practices
and to avoid the shortcomings of some other OWF monitoring programs, by employing “treatment”
(physically affected by construction activity) and “control” (undisturbed) sampling locations. Four fleets
of lobster pots were used to collect samples. One treatment fleet was deployed on the planned cable
route and a second in the turbine array site. A control fleet was positioned at least 1000m to the North
of each treatment fleet, outside of the planned construction location. Each fleet was hauled
approximately every 3 days, between July and September 2013. Sex, abundance, size, condition and
ovigerous status of individuals of the key commercial species Homarus gammarus, Cancer pagurus
and Necora puber were recorded for the entire catch. There were few differences between the
treatment and control fleets. Size and abundance varied between sexes and between the inshore and
offshore areas, with lager animals predominantly located offshore. Lobsters showed a high abundance
of individuals that were healthy or soft shelled; whilst edible crab had a high abundance of individuals
with ‘Black Spot Disease’. The fishery within Westermost Rough focuses on the abundant, high value
lobster, while there is a larger, but diseased and therefore lower value edible crab population. The
study provided a highly detailed baseline data set, which will enable direct comparison to postconstruction
monitoring. It is to be hoped that this will support the already productive relationship
between OWF developers and the fishing industry. The minutes from a steering group meeting
discussing the results, quality and future monitoring are included.

Dataset

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Daily Progress Reports

Report

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Report