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Scientists to replenish lobster population with help from wind farm

April 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM   |   Comments

HELGOLAND, Germany, April 27 (UPI) -- 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 lobsters, which are extremely aggressive toward each other, Spiegel Online reported Saturday.

"They are cannibals and behave aggressively toward one another," said Heinz-Dieter Franke of the Biological Institute Helgoland.

Franke said the lobster population 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," Franke explained.

The institute has partnered with the Borkum Riffgat offshore wind farm for a three-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 institute 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 not overpopulate the area.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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