Plateforme STELLA MARE | UMS3514 - CNRS / Università di Corsica
Research and Development  | Programs
European Lobster
 

The European Lobster


Person in charge

Eric Durieux

Problematic issues

The European lobster Homarus gammarus could be a potentially exploitable species in the context of the diversification of small-scale fishing in Corsica. Moreover, holds a conservation status in the Mediterranean by being included in Appendix III of Barcelona and Bern Conventions.

Objectives

A « fisheries ecology » aspect of the programme aims to provide information on the current exploitation, populations’ structure and ecology relating to lobster in Corsica in order to better understand its potential of exploitation. In parallel, a “zootechnical” aspect of the programme aims to improve and adapt farming protocols to Mediterranean lobster populations.

Description

The European lobster Homarus gammarus (Linnaeus, 1758) is a decapod crustacean which is found between 0 and 150 m deep on or near bedrock. The Lobster is a species of high market value, mainly exploited in the North East Atlantic with stable rates of about 4300t per year since 2006 (FAO). In the Mediterranean, the abundance levels of Homarus gammarus are generally lower and some lobster stocks have even historically suffered from overexploitation. The farming of this species has developed in Europe, in particular in the context of restocking projects to maintain the sustainable exploitation of certain wild stocks. In Corsica, coastal fishing relies largely in terms of income on the fishing of the red lobster Palinurus elephas (Fabricius, 1787) and following management plans aim to limit the pressure of exploitation on this species. Within the context of the diversification of coastal small-scale fishing in Corsica, the European lobster, currently not targeted, could constitute a potentially exploitable species as an alternative to the red lobster. However, the environmental and population characteristics of lobster in the Mditerranean are very different from those in the Northeast Atlantic. But there is currently very limited information on the biology and ecology of this species in the Mediterranean in general and in Corsica in particular. This research programme proposes to carry out a study concerning on one hand the wild population and on another hand the management of lobster juvenile farming in Corsica.

Steps to be taken

A « fisheries ecology » aspect of the research aims to provide information on the current exploitation, population structure and ecology of lobster in Corsica in order to better understand its exploitation potential.

Objectives

  • Current state of lobster fishing in Corsica
  • Estimation of abundance levels in fished and non-fished areas
  • Study of biological parameters and demographic structure of the lobster population in Corsica (size classification/ age, weight, sex ratio)
  • Understanding of preferential lobster habitat (bathymetry, temperature, substrate...)
  • Genetic study of lobsters in Corsica in relation to other sites in the species’ range
  • Study of spatial behaviour of individual species by conventional and electronic marking

A “zootechnical” aspect of the programme aims to improve and adapt farming protocols to Mediterranean lobster populations through the following actions:

  • Monitoring of wild egg-bearing females previously caught on the Corsican coast
  • Monitoring of egg maturation and hatching
  • Optimisation of environmental parameters for larval development
  • Pre-growth control of juveniles with morphological and behavioural analysis
  • Genetic study to estimate the genetic diversity of individual species resulting from zoo-technical production.
  • Use of juvenile lobster in Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture
  • Establishment of a specific area for lobster fishing in connection with the RECIF project
Page mise à jour le 11/07/2018 par JEAN-CHARLES LORENZINI