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Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00058

Modelling the dispersal of spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas) larvae: Implications for future fisheries management and conservation measures

 Paul Whomersley1*, Johan Van der Molen2, Douglas Holt1,  Colin Trundle3,  Sarah Clark4 and  David Fletcher5
  • 1Isles of Scilly Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA), United Kingdom
  • 2Coastal Systems, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Reseach (NIOZ), Netherlands
  • 3Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA), United Kingdom
  • 4Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA), United Kingdom
  • 5RAS Aquaculture Research Ltd, United Kingdom

Knowledge of larval dispersal, population dynamics and connectivity in relation to the management and conservation of commercially important species is vital if existing fisheries are to remain sustainable into the future. Larval dispersal of the commercially exploited spiny lobster, Palinurus elephas, was modelled from Marine Protected Areas located in the southwest of England for a 16-month period using a General Individuals Transport Model (GITM). The model included physical particle advection based on current fields from a 3D hydrodynamics model and a larval behaviour module. Our results demonstrate the overall dispersal patterns of P. elephas larvae and highlight populations capable of self-seeding and those which are seemingly reliant on larvae from more distant populations. The results indicate where further research may be required to fully understand how populations of P. elephas are maintained at regional, national and international scales while providing us with the opportunity to discuss the effectiveness of current approaches to conservation and fisheries management.

Keywords: Spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas), larval dispersal, Conservation measures, Fisheries Management, marine protected areas

Received: 24 Aug 2017; Accepted: 09 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Romuald Lipcius, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, United States

Reviewed by:

Patricia Briones-Fourzan, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Kevin A. Hovel, San Diego State University, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Whomersley, Van der Molen, Holt, Trundle, Clark and Fletcher. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Paul Whomersley, Isles of Scilly Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA), Townhall, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, TR21 0LW, United Kingdom, paul.whomersley@cefas.co.uk