Tassie Lobsters Resisting Climate Change

Rock on, rock lobster

Researchers in Tasmania have found that southern rock lobsters are showing some resilience to the effects of climate change.

The study spanned a 25 year period and surveyed the environmental factors that may be affecting the species’ development and settlement. Researchers found that fisheries were showing strong resilience to the changing sea temperature, swell change and changing currents.

By keeping and then comparing a monthly record of Juvenile lobsters the team were able to see which lobsters were surviving in open waters and returning back to shore.

Caleb Gardiner from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic studies (IMAS) found that there were different factors affecting the juvenile lobsters in each different area.

"Something that was an important environmental driver of the abundance of lobster in one place, would be quite unimportant, or even have an opposite effect somewhere else."

Although the results seem to be quite promising Gardner warns that this does not mean the species will be immune to climate change in the future.

While this research does not mean the fishery is completely off the hook, it does suggest that the fishery will continue into the future, although there may be variability from year to year and from region to region,

Gardner explains that it would have been helpful to identify a singular problem, so it can be easily addressed as is the case in most fisheries around the world.

One example is in Western Australia where the strength of the current flowing down the coast is really important, for them in Western Australia, the fact they know that is really great for them to be able to manage their fishery and predict what's going to happen in the future.

He believes controlling the amount of lobsters caught and conserving stocks is the best way to maintain numbers for future years.

Header: Wikimedia Commons

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