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European lobster

The lobster (Homarus gammarus) shows signs of disappearance in many places along the European coast, probably due to over-fishing, lack of conservation policies or lack of effective surveillance. This is a valuable crustacean, much appreciated in gastronomy but with a very slow growth. They are animals that, as they grow older, grow less, which means that the younger ones grow more and in lesser time than the older ones. An individual that exceeds 3 kg may well be 50 years old.

Several conservation, protection and restocking programs were initiated in countries such as Spain, England, Norway, Ireland and Germany. As there was no project of this kind in Portugal, a long-term study was started in 2006 with the goal of establishing the degree of risk for this species at Aguda Beach, as an example for the north of Portugal, since some fishermen commented that they were catching less and less animals of this species. It was also noted that only a few fishermen respected the minimum size prescribed by law (20.0 cm total length or 8.5 cm cephalothorax length).


Systematically, over the years, tagging and release of lobsters, caught by experimental or commercial fishing, have continued, especially of animals purchased at the fish market which did not have the minimum legal size, to avoid that they would have been sold for consumption.

From the beginning of the project in 2006 until October 2018 a total of 398 tagged lobsters were reintroduced into the sea. The recapture rate of tagged animals varied about 10 %.


Other Projects

  • Culture perspectives of barnacles (Pollicipes pollicipes) on natural and artificial substrates of the Aguda beach (Cunha and Weber, 2001, 2000).
  • Design, construction, implementation and monitoring of a pilot artificial reef system (Dias, Weber and Veloso Gomes, 2008; Dias Santos, 2000).
  • Design, construction, implantation and monitoring of artificial reefs and concrete with incorporation of organic sludge (Dias, Weber and Veloso-Gomes, 2008).
  • Human and natural impacts on the benthos of the intertidal rocky zone (Oliveira, Sousa-Pinto, Weber and Bertocci, 2015, 2014, Oliveira and Weber, 2014, Oliveira, 2008).
  • Impacts and Biological Colonization of a Coastal Defense Structure – the Quebramar da Aguda. PhD thesis (Dias Santos, 2009).
  • Technical and economic viability of the production of the Periwinkle (Littorina littorea), (Santos and Weber, 2016). ).
  • Fauna and flora of the littoral of Aguda´s beach (Areia, 2001; Weber, 1997).
  • The marine fauna and flora of Aguda (Weber, 2010; Weber, 2005).
  • Study of the growth and associated fauna of the “reefs” of Sabellaria alveolata (L.) at the beach of Aguda (Pereira and Weber, 2003; Pereira, 1998).
  • Study of the impact of the outstanding breakwater at the beach of Aguda, Northern Portugal (Santos, Santos, Santos and Weber, 2003; Santos, Cunha and Weber, 2002).
  • Evaluation of the impact of the outstanding breakwater in the biodiversity associated with the Sabellaria alveolata (L.) reefs of the beach of Aguda (Linhares, 2006).
  • The artisanal fishery at the Aguda beach (Weber, Jesus e Santos, 2016; Weber and Prata, 2005; Weber and Santos, 2002; Weber and Jesus Santos, 2001; Weber and Bleicker 1998; Weber and Vaz Pires, 1990).
  • Disturbances in tide pools, a biological recolonization study and importance of the time of year in which they are produced (Oliveira, Bertocci, Weber and Sousa-Pinto, 2011; Oliveira and Weber, 2010).
  • Research, Natural Conservation Practices and Education at the Littoral Station of Aguda.
  • Dangerous and poisonous marine organisms of the Portuguese continental coast (Weber and Horta Soares, 2015, Weber and Soares, 2014).
  • Ethnographic and historical study of the Fishing Hook (Weber, 2018).
  • Experimental fishing, mark-recapture, cultivation and prospects for restocking the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) at Aguda´s beach (Sousa, Oliveira e Weber, 2018; Weber, 2012).



Since beginning of the academic activities, the following Master of Science (MSc) and Doctoral thesis (PhD) have been concluded under the supervision of ELA´s staff:

  • 1998 – “Study of the growth and associated fauna of the” reefs “of Sabellaria alveolata (L.) at Praia da Aguda”. Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar ICBAS of the University of Porto, UP, Anabela Pereira (MSc).
  • 2000 – “Design, construction, implementation and monitoring of a pilot artificial reef system”. Hydraulic Institute of Water Resources IHRH, Faculty of Engineering FEUP, UP, Jaime Dias Santos (MSc).
  • 2004 – “Impact of the detached breakwater at Praia da Aguda, North of Portugal”. ICBAS, UP, Patrícia Magalhães dos Santos (MSc).
  • 2006 – “Evaluation of the impact of the detached breakwater on the biodiversity associated to the reefs of Sabellaria alveolata (L.) at Praia da Aguda”. ICBAS, UP, Elizabete Fernandes Linhares (MSc).
  • 2007 “The biodiversity of the benthic communities in the littoral of Esposende”. Minho University, UB, Vasco Manuel Paiva Ferreira (MSc).
  • 2008 “Study of the impact of the breakwater on the mussel and honeycomb worm communities using remote detection data”. ICBAS, UP, Cristina Emília Paiva (MSc).
  • 2009 “Colonization and succession of the marine fauna and flora on the breakwater of Praia da Aguda”. Institute of Hydraulics and Hydro Resources “IHRH”, Faculty of Engineering FEUP, UP, Jaime Prata (PhD).
  • 2009 “Disturbances in tide pools – a study of the biological re-colonization and the importance of the season of the year in which they were produced”. ICBAS, UP, José Pedro Machado Oliveira (MSc).
  • 2009 “Study of the recolonization of tide pools – systematic analysis of various intertidal zones and the associated temporal variability”. ICBAS, UP, José Pedro Machado Oliveira (PhD).
  • 2010 – “Experimental and commercial fishing, recapture, cultivation and restocking of the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) in the sea of Aguda”. ICBAS, UP, Ricardo Melo (MSc).
  • 2010-2015 – “Experimental tests of the effects of compounded anthropogenic perturbations on intertidal assemblages on Portuguese rocky shores”. ICBAS, UP, José Pedro Oliveira (PhD).
  • 2016 – “Marking and Recapture Project of the European Lobster (Homarus gammarus) at Praia da Aguda”. ICBAS, UP, Susana Alexandra Couto de Jesus (MSc).
  • 2017 – “Technical, educational and research intervention in the daily context of the Littoral Station of Aguda”. ICBAS, UP, Raquel de Vila Fontes da Mota Magalhães (MSc).