Recent projects are developed in collaboration with ICBAS (Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Porto), CIIMAR (Centre for Interdisciplinary Environmental and Marine Research), and IHRH of FEUP (Institute of Hydraulics and Hydro-Resources of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto):
- Cultivation and restocking of the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) at Aguda's beach (project) - ICBAS, CIIMAR.
The European lobster (Homarus gammarus) is disappearing gradually. The reason for this could be an excessive exploration of the stocks and the lack of conservation policies. The rocky shore of Aguda´s beach is considered to be an ideal lobster habitat, and appropriate for measures which might re-establish the natural balance of the population and an increase of its reproductive capacity. Therefore, a long-term project has been started which is focusing on lobster cultivation for restocking Aguda´s sea.
In a primary phase, lobsters caught by the local fishery and sold at the fish market in Aguda have been registered and studied.
In a secondary phase, experimental fishery has been carried out in collaboration with local fishermen, providing more specific information in terms of distribution, density, length-weight-relationships, and sex ratios.
In a third phase, undersized lobsters from experimental and commercial fishery were recovered in captivity for several weeks, then tagged by coloured ink injection and released into the sea, at North of Aguda´s beach over rocky substrate.
In parallel, conditions have been created at the Littoral Station of Aguda to maintain adult specimens in captivity as well as to proceed with the culture of larvae and juveniles. First results were not encouraging because of very high mortalities among larvae, mainly owing to cannibalism.
Experimental fishing and culture efforts will continue in the future. Increasing knowledge about the local population in parallel with the perfection of culture technique and methods will hopefully provide the necessary conditions for restocking the lobster at Aguda´s sea, successfully.
On the 29th of september of 2015, 39 tagged animals were released in front of the beach of Aguda, on rocky bottom, at depths between 8 and 10 meters, with the boat "Irmãos Unidos" ("United Brothers") of Aguda's fisherman Carlos Campota.
Since de beginning of the project, in 2006, 319 tagged lobsters have been released in the sea. The recapture rate is around 10 %, which is not a bad result if compared to data from other countries.