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Biological and fisheries data for managing the deep-sea crabs Hypothalassia acerba and Chaceon bicolor in Western Australia

Smith, K.D., Potter, I.C. and Hall, N.G. (2004) Biological and fisheries data for managing the deep-sea crabs Hypothalassia acerba and Chaceon bicolor in Western Australia. Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

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Abstract

Biological data for the champagne crab Hypothalassia acerba and crystal crab Chaceon bicolor have been collected to enable managers to develop appropriate plans for conserving the stocks of these two commercial species of deep sea crabs. Emphasis was placed on outlining the catch statistics for the early years of the fisheries and on determining the depth distributions, size compositions, sizes at maturity, spawning periods, sex ratios and fecundity of these species. The use of samples of female champagne and crystal crabs collected by traps (their only method of capture) almost certainly leads to the size at gonadal maturity of those crabs to be underestimated. This needs to be taken into account if size at maturity is to be used for setting minimum legal lengths. Since the patterns of growth of the claws of male champagne and crystal crabs do not change at the pubertal moult, they could not be used in the traditional manner to determine maturity. The implications of these and our other results have been discussed with Dr Roy Melville Smith (WA Fisheries), who is continuing research into the biology of the crystal crab.

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Series Name: FRDC projects 1999/154 and 2001/055
Publisher: Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
Notes: September 2004
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/19800
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