Distribution and abundance of crustaceans of commercial importance in Tanzania mainland coastal waters
Abstract:Crustacean species of commercial importance were identified and their abundance and distribution along the Tanzanian coastline (820 km) were determined. A total of eight lobster species, eight prawn species, and two crab species were identified. Among the spiny lobster species (Palinuridae), Panulirus ornatus was the most widely distributed and the most abundant species with 42% of the total individuals sampled and P. homarus and P. penicillatus were the least abundant. The non-spiny lobster Thanus orientalis and two other scyllarid (Scyllaridae) species, Parribacus antarcticus and Scyllarides squamosus were also found in Tanzania, though in very small numbers and of least or no commercial value in the area. Among the prawn species, Metapenaeus monoceros was the most widely distributed, and the most abundant species comprising of about 45% of the total individuals sampled Lowest distribution and abundance were recorded for Penaeus japonicus (1.2%). The commercially important crabs were Portunus pelagicus and Scylla serrata (Portunidae) and their abundance and distribution were the same. These crustaceans are a major source of income for some local fishermen, but does not contribute as one of the major sources of protein for the population of Tanzania.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1999
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