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Annual and Long-Term Movement Patterns of Spiny Lobster, Panulirus Marginatus, and Slipper Lobster, Scyllarides Squammosus, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

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Abstract:

Crustaceans exhibit diverse movement behaviors, which can complicate sustainable management if poorly understood. Annual and long-term movement patterns by hawaiian spiny lobster, Panulirus marginatus (Quoy and Gaimard, 1825), and scaly slipper lobster, Scyllarides squammosus (H. Milne-Edwards, 1837), at four locations in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) were estimated by using tag/recapture methods. Both species exhibited very limited movement, moving <1 km from the tagging site. Even after 5 yrs at liberty, the mean distance moved from the original tagging location was 0.09 and 0.23 km for male and female P. marginatus, respectively, and 0.54 and 0.35 km for male and female S. squammosus, respectively. Although 1% of P. marginatus and 2.8% of S. squammosus moved >5 km, there was no evidence of regular long-distance migrations or directed movements. Sex and location significantly affected distance moved by both species; however, there was no clear pattern. Size-at-tagging was a significant factor for S. squammosus, for which distances moved varied directly with increasing size; however, this is not necessarily indicative of large-scale unidirectional movements and may simply indicate that larger S. squammosus have larger home ranges. The lack of large-scale movements of both species probably reflects habitat characteristics. The NWHI do not provide the typical habitats juvenile lobsters require, there are no large seasonal temperature changes, and contranatant migrations are unnecessary because newly hatched larvae have access to offshore currents. The small home ranges of these species suggest that marine protected areas may be a viable conservation option.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5343/bms.2012.1047

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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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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