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Free Content In Situ Estimates of Density of Golden Crab, Chaceon Fenneri, from Habitats on the Continental Slope, Southeastern U.S.

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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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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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