Last updated on 19 November 2014
The three species of the crab fishery (Callinectes bellicosus, C. arcuatus and C. toxotes) were last assessed in 2012 via a simple surplus production model (SAGARPA, 2012a). Previously, a yield per recruit model was used (Ocampos et al., 2006). A new assessment is currently underway.
Until recently, some aspects of the population dynamics (e.g. mortality, growth, exploitation) of these crabs in the eastern Pacific are poorly understood, namely on the fraction of the population found in deeper waters. Higher recruitment levels occurs from May to July. In the artisanal fleet are found larger individuals in comparison with the individuals captured in the shrimp fishery likely due to fishing gear selectivity (Lopéz-Martínez et al., 2014).
Swimming crabs are characterized by great recruitment, sexual maturity at an early age, accelerated growth, high rates of natural mortality, a short life cycle, presenting a priority role in the trophic web (Van Engel 1990 in Lopéz-Martínez et al., 2014).
There are some differences in dynamic population parameters obtain from data of the artisanal fleet (traps gear) and those obtained of bycatch data in the shrimp trawling fleet which an analysis including all the aspects of the population dynamics of these resources is needed to a proper fishery management (Lopéz-Martínez et al., 2014).
Last updated on 4 June 2013
Since the fishery is at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) level, advice in 2012 was to not increase fishing effort, in terms of number of gear in operation: 70,800 for Sinaloa, 43,600 for Sonora and 8,000 gears units for South Baja California. An annual catch per unit effort (CPUE) of 84 kg/gear was advised for the three species in the Gulf of California fishery and a minimum catch of 400 tonnes in Chiapas State – southern Mexico. For other regions, the advice was to take necessary actions, should landings drop below the historical average (SAGARPA, 2012a).
Other scientific recommendations include increased research in terms of: a) recruitment patterns of Callinectes sp.; b) the effects the current regulations and the evaluation of the stock status; c) the design of future management strategies to protect the resource (inc. the use of fishing quotas) (SAGARPA, 2012a). Continued research on the impacts of the fishery on seahorses and other bycatch species is also recommended.
Last updated on 04 Jun 2013
The joint crab assessment has determined the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) to be between 3,180 and 4,995 tonnes for Sinaloa, depending on size and productivity. For Sonora, the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) was estimated to be between 3,240 and 3,960 tonnes (SAGARPA, 2012a).
A target catch per unit effort rate of 0.35 kg/gear/day is defined for the Gulf of California; in Chiapas a total annual catch limit of 400 tonnes is recommended. For the remaining areas, the average landings of the historical series are used as a reference point (SAGARPA, 2012a). The 2006 assessment cited a target fishing mortality rate of 2.5 (Ocampo et al., 2006).
Last updated on 19 November 2014
The most recent assessment, in 2012, determined that the fishery in the Gulf of California is exploited at MSY, whereas in the remaining states it is underexploited (SAGARPA, 2012a). Catches of crabs in Gulf of California increased in 2013.
Last updated on 19 Nov 2014
Reported catches for all swimming crab species have been increasing since the early 2000s, particularly in Sinaloa, and possibly due in part to the introduction of regulations in 2006 encouraging the reporting of landings, and are considerably higher than in the 1980s (SAGARPA, 2012a). It seems that the biomass of crabs have been decreasing since the late half decade of 1990 (SAGARPA, 2014) but current information is not available.