Human Exclusion Experiment set up and running!
Stalked Barnacles are crustaceans that inhabit the intertidal levels of exposed rocky shores and that form dense aggregations. During 2016 in Galicia (Spain) Stalked Barnacles reached a mean first sale price of 25 €/kg and a total mean value of 9 and a half million euros (source: www.pescadegalicia.gal); demonstrating a strong market demand for this resource in the region. Given its socioeconomic and ecological importance, FOL member Alba Aguión is keen to find during her PhD adaptation options for the fishery to Climate Change, such as changes in the rotational harvest currently conducted.
In order to get a better understanding of the recovery rates of the resource and thus the rotational harvest, Alba is conducting an experiment to understand the effects of Stalked Barnacle harvesting on the productivity of the barnacle stands. This experiment, done in collaboration with the project PERCEBES, consists in closed stainless steel cages that cover 12.25 m2 of rock surface with barnacle stands (see photo) that aim to exclude removal by fishers. By taking advantage of last week spring tides, Alba set up the cages in 3 sites: two in the south of Galicia (Baiona and Cangas) and one in the north (A Coruña). Besides this exclusion treatment, control plots were selected where no cages have been installed and thus, where harvesting will occur. For two years, Alba will be visiting these sites monthly to obtain pictures of the experimental surfaces for community analysis and hence, explore the recovery dynamics of the population. From FOL we wish Alba the best of luck with her experiment!
CATEGORIES: Alba Aguión, Future Oceans Lab, Percebes, PhD, Projects, Research