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The Spiny Lobster,Jasus La.Lajvdii (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) Off the South African Coast: Inter-Annual Variations in Male Growth and Female Fecundity

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Male growth and female fecundity data were collected annually for adult West Coast lobsters over a six year period in six different fishing areas. There were statistically significant variations between different years and seasons. In the case of growth, but not fecundity, there was some consistency in the pattern of year-to-year variation in the six areas. This suggests that high or low growth in any one year is a coast-wide phenomenon. Some relationship between growth and fecundity has been shown on a coast-wide basis, but the data set was too small (n = 6) for the correlation (r = 0.30) to be significant. An association between fecundity and growth has been shown at the level of individual areas (x 2 = 5.46; p < 0.12), by recording the number of instances the growth and egg count residuals were above or below the long run means for those variables. A linear relationship between growth and fecundity on an area basis (n = 35) was indicated, but was not significant (r = 0.27; p<0.12). It is consequently not possible to quantify the male growth : female fecundity relationship at this stage. The potential for using female fecundity as a predictor of male growth (which takes place some five to six months after the females become ovigerous) is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay, South Africa; 2: University of Cape Town, Department of Statistical Sciences, Private bag, Rondebosch, South Africa

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