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What Are the Characteristics of a Good Artificial Reef for Lobsters?

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Artificial reefs have been used to concentrate fish. In order to characterize good artificial reefs for lobsters, information on the bahaviour and ecology of lobsters on natural substrates is needed. Habitat and microhabitat selection, predator-prey and intraspecific interactions, and related facets are reviewed for late juvenile and adult clawed, spiny, and slipper lobsters. These data, together with the results of several experiments with man-made habitats, indicate the behavioural-ecological processes associated with shelter selection. Horizontal shelters with opaque cover and multiple den openings were preferred by most species studied. These characteristics are considered anti-predator adaptations. Yet, a survey of artificial reefs established in the recent decade has revealed that lobsters were reported in only a small proportion of the projects. It is suggested that the majority of these reefs has not been designed and constructed to fit the behavioural-ecological preferences of the target lobster species for shelter.

Affiliations: 1: The Recanati Center for Maritime Studies and Department of Maritime Civilizations, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel


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