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Selectivity of traps for the deep-water crab, Cancer johngarthi Carvacho, 1989 in the northern Mexican Pacific

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Nine crab-trap lines were set off the west coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico, from June 2000 to May 2001. Traps were of different types: conic, rectangular, and rhombic. We analysed the efficiency of the traps for Cancer johngarthi, a crab species that represents between 80 and 99% of total crab catch at locations ranging from 100 to 530 m deep. Other fauna (14 species) was scarce. The catch of C. johngarthi consisted of males with a carapace width (CW) >125 mm and, depending on the trap type, relative abundance values from 0.05 to 1.2 crabs per trap-hour. According to the catch-per-unit-effort for gender and size, the most efficient type of traps were the conic ones, whereas rhombic traps were the least efficient. The sizes at first catch for females were 109, 101, and 86 mm CW for conic, rectangular, and rhombic types, respectively. For males the values were 136, 134, and 78 mm CW. Though the existence of C. johngarthi was known, this is the first report of experimental fishing targeting this species. Preliminary results suggest that management strategies will be heavily dependent on taking into account the observed variability in catch effectiveness of the various traps. The use of different traps will facilitate the manager's decision regarding sizes and catch rates. En este trabajo se analiza la eficiencia de las trampas para la captura de Cancer johngarthi. De junio de 2000 a mayo de 2001 se realizaron nueve lances de pesca de prospección pesquera con líneas de trampas para cangrejo, de tipo cónico, rectangular y rómbico, operadas entre 100 m y 530 m de profundidad, frente al litoral occidental de Baja California Sur, México. C. johngarthi se presentó en 5 de los 9 lances y constituyó del 80 al 99% de la captura total. La fauna de acompañamiento fue escasa y estuvo compuesta por 14 especies. En la captura de C. johngarthi predominaron individuos machos de tamaño superior a los 125 mm de ancho de cuerpo (AC), con valores desde 0.05 a 1.2 cangrejos por hora-trampa, dependiendo del tipo de trampa. Al considerar la CPUE por sexo y talla, las trampas cónicas fueron las más eficientes, capturando más machos que hembras, siendo los individuos de tamaño superior a los 120 mm de AC. Las trampas rómbicas fueron las menos eficientes. La talla de primera captura para hembras fue de 109, 101 y 86 mm de AC en las trampas cónicas, rectangulares y rómbicas, respectivamente. Para machos, los valores fueron de 136 mm de AC, 134 mm de AC y 87 mm de AC. Los resultados sugieren que las estrategias de manejo de la naciente pesquería de C. johngarthi deberán considerar la variabilidad observada y el tipo de trampa para decidir sobre tallas y tasas de captura.


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