Abundance and potential yield of spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) on the Little and Great Bahama Banks
Abstract:Spiny lobsters (Panulirus argus) were surveyed at 227 stations on the Little Bahama Bank and Great Bahama Bank (northern one-half only) during June 1983–June 1984 using a random stratified sampling program incorporating visual (i.e., SCUBA) assessment techniques. This resources survey was part of a larger UNDP/FAO Fisheries Development Project (BHA/82/002) in the Bahamas. Mean density of spiny lobsters was 420 kg/km2 and 287 kg/km2 for Little Bahama Bank and Great Bahama Bank respectively. Based upon the yield equation MSY = 0.5(Y + MB), potential yield estimates ranged from 155 kg/km2 for Great Bahama Bank to 257 kg/km2 for Little Bahama Bank.
Present standing stock and potential yield estimates for spiny lobster are far higher than earlier predictions for the Bahamas and, in fact, compare favorably with those for other shelf areas within the tropical Western Atlantic region. Such findings largely refute earlier forecasts that fishery yields in the Bahamas would be relatively low due to reduced primary productivity in waters overlying the banks. Reported landings (1982) of spiny lobster on Little Bahama Bank are roughly 30% of the estimated annual potential yield; landings on Great Bahama Bank constitute only about 10% of the estimated potential yield. The highest densities of spiny lobsters were at rocky (rather than reef) stations along the north-central and eastern edges of Little Bahama Bank and northwestern portion of Great Bahama Bank.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 1986
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