Germany once had a thriving lobster population off its north coast near Heligoland, but after years of heavy bombing during WWII, the lobster population died off. The British bombed the coastal area on numerous occasions, including one of the largest non-nuclear detonations with 7,000 metric tons of explosives in 1947. It was believed that the toxins from the bombs destroyed the sense of smell in the lobsters, which is needed for the crustaceans to find a sexual partner. The lobster population never recovered after the war ended, but things may be turning around for the tourist hot spot.
Germany has invested billions of euros into building wind farms as a part of their initiative to make the move over to renewable energy. The north coast has been an ideal location for these off shore wind farms, and Heligoland is one of those prime spots. Biologists discovered that the stone foundations created on the seafloor for the wind farms make an ideal habitat for lobsters. By 2030, Germany is expected to have roughly 5,000 wind farms in operation, which would make for some solid locations for the lobster population.
At the Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, biologists have been anticipating the growth in prime lobster habitats and have bred over 3,000 lobsters to release into the Borkum Riffgat offshore wind farm near Heligoland. 700,000 euros ($923,500) have been set aside as compensation for any ecological damage caused by the construction of the wind farm, and part of that money is being used to reintroduce the lobster population to the once thriving fishing industry that existed there years ago.