Spiny lobster is one of the most valuable crustaceans in the Gulf of Oman. Overfishing in recent decades has reduced the stocks of this aquatic resource. Therefore, accurate knowledge and study of ecological parameters of lobster habitats are very important because the seabed structure and ecological parameters in these habitats are widely associated with the presence, absence and distribution of lobsters. The current study was conducted to investigate the relationship between the classification of sediments, the abundance of macrobenthos and environmental factors on a seasonal basis along three areas and 12 stations. It was carried out in the rocky areas of the Jod coast (western area), Pozm (central part) and Pasabandar (eastern area) of the Gulf of Oman (Sistan and Baluchistan Province). The mean values of temperature, salinity, turbidity, acidity and chlorophyll were 25.8 ◦C, 36.7 PSU, 5.44  FTU,  7.98, 1.25 µg/L, in the western part, 26.38 ◦C, 36.65 PSU, 2.59  FTU,  8.1, 0.86 µg/L in the central part and 25.68 ◦C, 36.02 PSU, 4.48  FTU,  8.07, 1.08 µg/L in the eastern part of study area. Almost similar environmental parameters were observed between similar points between the depth of 5 and 20 meters. The macrobenthos results in the studied stations showed that foraminifera and Polychaeta are the most prevalent macrobenthos groups and in the deepest stations (20 meters) and the highest frequency was in the western and eastern regions. The majority of sediments in Pasabandar were sand (91%), mud, and a small amount of coral (3.1%) and clay (3.8%) as well as a completely rocky site at one station. As for the Pozm region, the bed was primarily sandy (89%) followed by mud (5.1%) and clay (6.1%). The western regions contain more than 93.3% sand, as well as clay (3.6%) and mud (3.1%).  The sedimentary texture of the bed plays an important role in the movement of the lobster in the habitat, and the rocky and sandy bed is a suitable habitat for the lobster. According to the results of this study, the highest percentage of sediment sand was observed in the western part of Gulf of Oman. There were similar environmental parameters for equal depths of water. Furthermore, Macrobenthos were most abundant in the western region of Jod port in spring and autumn and agreed with pre-Manson and post-Manson conditions. Therefore, the stations in the western part of Gulf of Oman are suitable places for the establishment of artificial reefs.
Keywords: Lobster, Artificial reef, Macrobenthos, Physical and chemical parameters, Gulf of Oman
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