CS06 Benthos
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Location: Poster Session - VCC
 
Rodriguez-FourquetC, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, manglar@prw.net
Sabat, A, , University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 
 
EFFECT OF FISHING ON THE LAND CRAB'S (CARDISOMA GUANHUMI) DENSITY AND SIZE STRUCTURE IN PUERTO RICO
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The land crab (Cardisoma guanhumi) is a commercially important species in Puerto Rico. In the last 25 years surveys of land crab landings, suggest a decline in the population. We hypothesize that the decline in the population responds to an increase in fishing effort. To determine if over-fishing is causing a decline in the population, we are conducting monthly surveys in three localities which contain both fished and lightly fished areas. At each of these areas animals are captured, measured, weighted, sexed, marked and released. There is a significant difference in the density and size of animals between the fished and lightly fished areas. In the lightly fished areas, density is higher and animals are smaller. In the fished areas, density is lower and animals are bigger. A relationship between carapace width and weight of crabs does not show a difference in the condition of the animals between the areas. Sex ratio does not differ between the areas. The findings of this study will be used to develop a management plan for the sustainable use of this commercially important.