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Contribution to the Biology of the Deep-Sea Swimming Crab Bathynectes Maravigna (Prestandrea, 1839) (Decapoda, Pontunidae) in Waters of the Canary Islands (Central-East Atlantic)

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Two exploratory trap fishing surveys were carried out from February to April, and from June to July 2003, respectively, at depths ranging between 200 and 1200 m, with the objective to evaluate deep fishery resources of the Canary Archipelago. Bathynectes maravigna was relatively frequent in catches, as an indication of its abundance in deep waters off the Archipelago (0.15 gram per fishing hour; SD = 0.45). This crab was captured in the whole range of depths sampled, although its highest biomass was found between 600 and 1000 m (0.22 gram per fishing hour; SD = 0.55), on muddy-rocky bottoms. There were no significant differences in the average length and weight between males and females, although significant differences were observed in average length and weight according to the island of origin and date of fishing. The b parameter of the length-weight relationship describes a negative allometric growth pattern. Se realizaron dos campañas de pesca exploratoria de febrero a abril y de junio a julio de 2003, respectivamente, entre los 200 y 1200 m de profundidad con el objeto de evaluar los recursos pesqueros profundos del Archipiélago Canario. Bathynectes maravigna fue relativamente frecuente en las capturas, indicativo de su abundancia en las aguas profundas del Archipiélago (0,15 gramos por hora de pesca; SD = 0,45). Este cangrejo fue capturado en todo el rango de profundidades muestreado, aunque su mayor densidad se encontró entre los 600 y 1000 m de profundidad (0,22 gramos por hora de pesca; SD = 0,55), tanto sobre fondos fangosos como rocosos. No hubo diferencias entre macho y hembras en las tallas y pesos promedios, aunque se observaron diferencias en los pesos y tallas medias según la isla de procedencia y el periodo de captura. El parámetro b de la relación talla-peso describe un patrón de crecimiento alométrico negativo.

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Biología, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Edif. de Ciencias Básicas, Campus de Tafira, E-35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain;, Email: jcastro@pesca.gi.ulpgc.es; 2: Departamento de Biología, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Edif. de Ciencias Básicas, Campus de Tafira, E-35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; 3: Instituto de Fomento Pesquero (IFOP), C/Enrique Abello, 0552, Punto Arena, Chile

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