Interaction between the Yorkshire coast static gear crustacean fishery and offshore wind energy development

Roach, Michael

Biological sciences
October 2019

Thesis or dissertation

© 2019 Michael Roach. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Globally the offshore wind energy sector has seen an increase in the number of and spatial scale of offshore wind farms in the last decade. Offshore wind farms can be seen as many EU member states answer to meeting their energy demands from renewable sources. The increase in offshore wind developments can create spatial conflict with other marine users such as commercial fisheries. Their ecological effects on macro- benthic crustaceans are not currently widely understood. This thesis focuses on the short-term effects of the construction and operation of the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm and the subsequent closure and reopening of the site to fishing exploitation due to the construction process. There were limited effects of the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm on the size structure and catch rates of the commercially exploited crustaceans sampled over three survey years. The closure of the site during construction saw an increase in the size, abundance, and total egg yield of lobsters from the site. This increase in lobsters produced an adverse effect on the commercial bycatch species in the site. Reopening of the site to fishing exploitation, produced an immediate, short-term increase in effort. The increase in lobster size, abundance and total egg yield produced a dramatic decrease but within six weeks, reflected that of the control area. This thesis demonstrates that the there are few observable short-term effects of offshore wind farm construction on commercially exploited crustacean species. The thesis also demonstrates the effects of a closed area on commercial crustaceans and the effects of reopening the site to exploitation. The results can be used to assist in marine spatial management and future offshore wind interactions with commercially important crustacean fisheries.

[Includes journal article: Roach, M., Cohen, M., Forster, R., Revill, A. S., & Johnson, M. (2018). The effects of temporary exclusion of activity due to wind farm construction on a lobster (Homarus gammarus) fishery suggests a potential management approach. ICES journal of marine science : journal du conseil, 75(4), 1416-1426.
Authors' accepted manuscript available: ]

Department of Biological & Marine Science, The University of Hull
Johnson, Magnus
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