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Catchability for the Main Fishing Methods in the Cuban Fishery of the Spiny Lobster Panulirus Argus (Latreille, 1804), and Implications for Management (Decapoda, Palinuridea)

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The fishing period for the lobster Panulirus argus (Latreille, 1804) in Cuba usually starts in June, after a closed season from March to May. Between June and September (beginning of the fishing period), 88% of the catch is obtained by the use of the artificial shelters ("pesqueros") in the Gulf of Batabano, while from October to February, a mass migration occurs and 70% of the catch is obtained using traps joined by nets ("jaulones"). The application of analytical methods based on size and age composition of catches, like cohort analysis and catch curve analysis, allowed to calculate fishing mortality rates, catchabilities and the selection curves of the fishing gears operated during both seasons (beginning and migration) for the period 1982-1993. It was found that the variation in fishing mortality rate at the beginning of the period is significantly related to the number of pesqueros checked and the catchability is higher for the 3 and 4 year old lobsters, with a length at first capture of 24.19 cm (total length). For the season of mass migration, fishing mortality is related to the number of jaulones checked and the catchability is higher for the age groups 4 and 5, while the length at first capture is 25.54 cm (total length). Taking into account that jaulón catchability is 2.33 times pesquero catchability, the optimum allocation of the fishing effort was assessed through a predictive age-based model.

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Investigaciones Pesqueras, 5ta. Ave. y Calle 248, Barlovento, Playa, Ciudad de la Habana, CP 19100, Cuba


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