Baseline assessment of fisheries for three species of mud crabs (Scylla spp.) in the mangroves of Ibajay, Aklan, Philippines
Stock enhancement through habitat restoration and habitat release have both been considered as approaches to the management of declining Scylla spp. Prior to stock enhancement trials, the present study was conducted to monitor recruitment and yields of three Scylla spp. in ∼70 ha of natural mangroves in Aklan, Panay, Philippines. Results showed that Scylla olivacea (Herbst, 1796) was the most abundant mud crab species, comprising 95% of the catches over the 4 yr sampling period. Size distribution for this species indicated year-round recruitment with peaks in the numbers of smaller, immature crabs during the summer months. The decreasing mean size at capture, yield and CPUE in terms of weight throughout the 4-yr sampling period is an indication that the area has been subjected to heavy fishing pressure. The constant CPUE in terms of numbers of crabs suggests that recruitment is constant, though this is likely to be lower than in other mangrove areas due to the topography of the site with limited access to the open sea, resulting in relatively low crab abundance and yields. Combined with the fidelity of S. olivacea to the mangrove habitat, this indicates a suitable population for investigation of the effectiveness of a hatchery-release program.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 May 2007
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