In Situ Estimates of Density of Golden Crab, Chaceon Fenneri, from Habitats on the Continental Slope, Southeastern U.S.
Abstract:Observations on density and habitat of golden crab, Chaceon fenneri, were made from a submersible along 85 transects in depths of 389–567 m approximately 122 km southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. Additional observations on habitat were made on 16 transects that crossed isobaths between 293–517 m. Seven habitat types were identified during dives: a flat foraminiferon ooze habitat (405–567 m); coral mounds (503–555 m); ripple habitat (320–539 m); dunes (389–472 m); black pebble habitat (446–564 m); low outcrop (466–512 m); and soft-bioturbated habitat (293–475 m). A total of 109 C. fenneri were sighted within the 583,480 m2 of bottom surveyed. Density (mean no. 1,000 m–2) was significantly different among habitats, with highest values (0.7⋅1,000 m–2) noted among low rock outcrops. Lowest densities were observed in the dune habitat (<0.1⋅1,000 m–2), while densities for other habitats were similar (0.15–0.22⋅1,000 m–2). The low density (1.9 indiv.⋅ha–1) of golden crab in the study area compared to estimates of red crab density (258–282 indiv.⋅ha–1) off southern New England suggests that golden crab stocks may be substantially lower than those of red crab. The golden crab population in small areas of 26–29 km2 between 300–500 m off Charleston was estimated to be 5,000–6,000 adult crabs.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1990-05-01
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