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During the scientific survey 136 casts will be made, using fishing lines with 100 traps, at depths between 30 and 120 meters.

King crab status investigated in Patagonian waters

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Friday, January 11, 2019, 21:00 (GMT + 9)

The National Institute for Fisheries Research and Development (INIDEP) started the scientific survey aimed at evaluating the Southern king crab  (Lithodes santolla) in its central Patagonian distribution area. 

Map of the area bounded by the Inidep►
 
 This is the third consecutive year in which it is carried out and includes the San Jorge Gulf and platform waters, between 43 ° 30 'and 48 ° South latitude, including the jurisdictions of Chubut, Santa Cruz and Nation.

The survey is carried out simultaneously with five commercial king crab vessels (Dukat, Talisman, Atlantic Express, Tango I and Tango II) and on each ship the tasks are carried out by two observers on board or scientists from INIDEP, with the collaboration of the personnel on board and the support of the companies that fish this resource.

The main objective of this study is to estimate the relative abundance indexes, describe the spatial distribution of 2019, mainly of the commercial concentrations and of different biological aspects of the stock.

The programmed activities include: counting of crabs in the case of females, collection of necrosis data, loss of appendices, morphometric relationships and tissue sampling for genetic cheat studies, length and weight measurements, determination of reproductive stage and percentage of eggs and ovigerous masses to determine egg quality.

All the accompanying fauna, usually composed of other crabs, stars, bristlestars and sea urchins, will also be recorded and quantified. In addition, this year will be carried out studies of the selectivity of the rings on the most important component of the discarding, the spider crab (Libidoclaea granaria).


An interjurisdictional marking plan will be carried out in four different sectors, marking 1,500 females of more than 70 mm carapace length and 2,000 males of more than 90 mm. (Photo: INIDEP)

As part of the interjurisdictional marking plan, work will be carried out in five sectors that cover the different management areas. Some 1,500 females greater than 70 mm shell length and 1,500 males over 90 mm will be tagged. Among the main expected results of this activity are obtaining data on the direction and distance of movements of the crabs and make comparisons with the results previously obtained.

The determination of the spatial distribution, sex ratio, size structure, reproductive condition and relative abundance of king crab is fundamental to evaluate the general state of this stock subjected to exploitation.

The fishing vessel Talisman is one of those participating in the campaign (Photo: INIDEP)

With the collected information, a relative reference index will be generated based on the crab abundance that will allow biomass estimations and suggest to the enforcement authorities the catch quotas in each jurisdiction for the 2019-20 season.

The results of the scientific survey will be presented in a timely manner in the Commission and Follow-up Commission of Bentonic Crustaceans, in the Federal Fisheries Council and also before the provincial authorities.

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