by Staff Writers
Heligoland, Germany (UPI) Apr 27, 2013
German scientists say they hope to replenish the lobster population off the German island of Helgoland with the help of offshore wind farms.
The scientists say the farms, which have rocky foundations, make good habitats for the lobsters, which are extremely aggressive toward each other, Spiegel Online reported Saturday.
"They are cannibals and behave aggressively toward one another," says Heinz-Dieter Franke of the Biological Institute Helgoland (BAH).
Franke said the population of lobster off the island's coast has dwindled since World War II, when Helgoland was heavily bombed and mined.
"Since then, the population has remained stable but extremely low," explains Franke.
The BAH has partnered with the Borkum Riffgat offshore wind farm for a 3-year pilot project aimed at boosting the lobster population. About 3,000 lobsters will be released on the farm's rocky foundation this year and will be monitored by BAH scientists.
Spiegel Online said lobsters -- omnivores that eat algae, mussels, snails and worms -- are an important part of the North Sea's ecosystem, helping ensure other species do no overpopulate the area.
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