Action: Place anthropogenic installations (e.g: windfarms) in an area such that they create artificial habitat and reduce the level of fishing activity
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of placing anthropogenic installations in an area such that they reduce the level of fishing activity on subtidal benthic invertebrate populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.
Anthropogenic installations, such as wind farms, drilling platforms, rigs, can act as artificial reefs, by introducing hard and complex habitats often where the natural habitat is soft sediment (Krone et al. 2017; Langhamer & Wilhelmsson 2009). These installations may have safety zones around them, either temporarily or permanently, to limit, reduce or remove human activities that can take place, such as fishing. While this may be due to the risk of gear loss and snagging when in contact with such installations, it can have secondary conservation benefits by acting as de facto marine reserves (Ashley et al. 2014). By both acting as artificial reefs and reducing the level of fishing activity around them, placing anthropogenic installations in an area can reduce threats to subtidal benthic invertebrates while promoting their recovery.
Related evidence for the effects of creating buffer zones around anthropogenic installations is summarised under “Threat: Transportation and service corridors – Cease or prohibit shipping”.
Evidence for the co-location of activities and marine spatial planning is summarised under “Threat: Energy production and mining – Co-locate aquaculture systems with other activities and infrastructures (such as wind farms) to maximise use of marine space”, “Threat: Pollution – Locate artificial reefs near aquaculture systems to act as biofilters”, and “Habitat restoration and creation – Locate artificial reefs near aquaculture systems to benefit from nutrient run-offs”. Further evidence related to creating artificial reefs is summarised under “Habitat restoration and creation – Artificial habitat creation”, while evidence related to regulating and mitigation fishing is summarised under “Threat: Biological resource use”.
Ashley M.C., Mangi S.C. & Rodwell L.D. (2014) The potential of offshore windfarms to act as marine protected areas–a systematic review of current evidence. Marine Policy, 45, 301–309.
Krone R., Dederer G., Kanstinger P., Krämer P., Schneider C. & Schmalenbach I. (2017) Mobile demersal megafauna at common offshore wind turbine foundations in the German Bight (North Sea) two years after deployment-increased production rate of Cancer pagurus. Marine Environmental Research, 123, 53–61.
Langhamer O. & Wilhelmsson D. (2009) Colonisation of fish and crabs of wave energy foundations and the effects of manufactured holes–a field experiment. Marine Environmental Research, 68, 151–157.