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Prediction of Commercial Catches of the Spiny Lobster Panulirus Argus in the Gulf of Batabano, Cuba

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The spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fishery in the Cuban archipelago is the main fishery for the species in its area of distribution. The fishery is one of the biggest in the world for this species, averaging over 11,000 t annually, with export values of around $US 100 million per year. Indices of abundance of puerulus, juveniles, and pre-recruits were used to determine relationships between the main events in the life history stages and subsequent recruitment to the fishery. The relationship between the juvenile and pre-recruit abundance (r = 0.8916, p = 0.005) suggests that variation in the pre-recruit index could be explained by the juvenile estimates. A method of catch prediction is being developed based on the index of juvenile abundance and its relationships with lobster catches the next year. Since 1982 this index has been obtained from monthly sampling of concrete artificial reefs in a nursery area in the Gulf of Batabanó. A significant relationship was obtained between the index for juveniles and catch in the next year (r = 0.8301, P< 0.00 1).

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Investigaciones Pesqueras, 5ta Ave. y Calle 248, Barlobento, Playa, Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba


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