, Volume 742, Issue 1, pp 27–38 | Cite as

Pilot acoustic tracking study on adult spiny lobsters (Palinurus mauritanicus) and spider crabs (Maja squinado) within an artificial reef

  • Guiomar RotllantEmail author
  • Jacopo Aguzzi
  • David Sarria
  • Enric Gisbert
  • Valerio Sbragaglia
  • Joaquín Del Río
  • Carles G. Simeó
  • Antoni Mànuel
  • Erik Molino
  • Corrado Costa
  • Francisco Sardà
Primary Research Paper


Artificial reef areas can be used for management and conservation of commercially exploited crustacean decapods but their behaviour in these environments is poorly characterised. Acoustic tags were used to study the behaviour of 3 adult spiny lobsters (Palinurus mauritanicus) and 3 adult spider crabs (Maja squinado) over a period of 64 days in summer, evaluating the use of artificial reef areas as suitable sites for re-stocking of overfished decapods. For this purpose, animals were released in a western Mediterranean artificial reef located at 20 m depth, close to a cabled seafloor observatory, which simultaneously recorded temperature, salinity, current direction, current speed and light intensity over the study period. Spiny lobsters lingered in the reef area, whereas the spider crabs left the area 21–45 h after release. These behavioural differences suggested that artificial reefs might be a good area to deploy adult lobsters for re-stocking purposes. The movements displayed by the lobsters during this experiment were not influenced by any of the measured environmental factors, whereas spider crab movements occurred against major current direction, when current speed was intense.


Ultrasonic transmitters Crustaceans Artificial reef Re-stocking Environmental factors Cabled observatory 



This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under the research project: “Redes de sensores submarinos acústicos aplicados al seguimiento de especies de interes comercial” (TRA2009_0294) to AM and to National Sea Harvest Advisory Board (JACUMAR) belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment under the research project: “Propuestas y mejoras para el diseño y control de los planes de repoblación y evaluación del impacto de los escapes—REPES” to GR. The authors would like to thank Glòria Macià and Esteban Hernández for their support as laboratory technicians at IRTA, Sant Carles de la Ràpita, and the “Servei Meteorologic de Catalunya” for providing data from their automatic meteorological station. Jacopo Aguzzi is a fellow within the Ramón y Cajal Program (MICINN).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guiomar Rotllant
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jacopo Aguzzi
    • 1
    • 5
  • David Sarria
    • 2
    • 5
  • Enric Gisbert
    • 3
  • Valerio Sbragaglia
    • 1
    • 5
  • Joaquín Del Río
    • 2
    • 5
  • Carles G. Simeó
    • 2
    • 3
  • Antoni Mànuel
    • 2
    • 5
  • Erik Molino
    • 2
    • 5
  • Corrado Costa
    • 4
  • Francisco Sardà
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Electronics Department, Technological Development Centre for Remote Acquisition and Data Processing Systems (SARTI)Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya (UPC)Vilanova i la GeltrúSpain
  3. 3.Unitat Operativa de Cultius ExperimentalsIRTATarragonaSpain
  4. 4.Unità di ricerca per l’ingegneria agrariaConsiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in AgricolturaMonterotondo ScaloItaly
  5. 5.Associated UnitTecnoterraLisbonPortugal

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