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The collection of biological data required for management of the blue swimmer crab fishery in the central and lower west coasts of Australia

Potter, I.C., de Lestang, S. and Melville-Smith, R. (2001) The collection of biological data required for management of the blue swimmer crab fishery in the central and lower west coasts of Australia. School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

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Abstract

From a management perspective, this project has demonstrated that, although the sizes at first maturity varied amongst water bodies, they always lay well below the minimum legal size for capture. The optimal habitats required by crabs at different stages in their life cycle have been identified, thus providing managers with information on the likely consequences of anthropogenically-induced changes to the environment. Comparisons between the densities of crabs in Cockburn Sound in 2000 with those in the same water body in the early 1970s indicate that increased densities of crabs can lead to a reduction in growth rates. The development of reliable and readily applicable criteria for the stages in gonadal development has increased the precision with which various reproductive characteristics and trends can be determined. Consequently, managers can now be provided with precise and robust data for such characteristics as the size at first maturity and the spawning period and location. Finally, the growth parameters estimated in this project can be used, in combination with the reproductive data, to develop more appropriate fishery models for stock assessment.

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Series Name: FRDC Project N0. 97/137
Publisher: School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Murdoch University
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/19876
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