Last updated on 9 August 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Callinectes arcuatus

SPECIES NAME(s)

Cuata swimcrab, Arched swimming crab

No information about the stock structure of cuata swimcrab could be found. The crab fishery in the Eastern Gulf of California (Sinaloa-Sonora states) includes three species (Callinectes bellicosus, C. arcuatus and C. toxotes), was assessed and is managed under a management plan (SAGARPA, 2012a; SAGARPA, 2014).


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • A Fishery Management Plan is in place since 2014 for Sinaloa and Sonora.
  • Bycatch is considered low. Several management measures are in place.
  • A Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) is underway, on the initiative of the main buyer/distributor.
Weaknesses
  • The status of the crab species has so far been jointly assessed.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

< 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

≥ 6

Future Health:

≥ 6


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Work with scientists to better understand the stock structure of Callinectes arcuatus and develop species specific stock assessments for C. arctuatus and C. bellicosus encompassing the entire range of both species distributions.
  • Collect and analyse catch data to establish the scale and pattern of catches of the three species of Callinectes within the fishery. 
  • Work with regulators to establish a comprehensive, transparent and long-term monitoring program to collect information to support the stock assessments, and quantify the bycatch and environmental impacts of the fishery.
  • Request that the government expand the fishery management plan to include all fishing grounds.
  • Work with regulators to implement the use of biodegradable panels in all crab pots to prevent ghost fishing by lost gear.
  • Work with the government and supply chain to ensure compliance with all fishery regulations, especially gear specification and reporting requirements.

FIPS

  • Mexico Gulf of California swimming crab - pot/trap/ring net:

    Stage 4, Progress Rating B

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Eastern Gulf of California Mexico Pacific Mexico Portable lift nets

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 18 November 2014

Strengths
  • A Fishery Management Plan is in place since 2014 for Sinaloa and Sonora.
  • Bycatch is considered low. Several management measures are in place.
  • A Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) is underway, on the initiative of the main buyer/distributor.
Weaknesses
  • The status of the crab species has so far been jointly assessed.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 6 August 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Work with scientists to better understand the stock structure of Callinectes arcuatus and develop species specific stock assessments for C. arctuatus and C. bellicosus encompassing the entire range of both species distributions.
  • Collect and analyse catch data to establish the scale and pattern of catches of the three species of Callinectes within the fishery. 
  • Work with regulators to establish a comprehensive, transparent and long-term monitoring program to collect information to support the stock assessments, and quantify the bycatch and environmental impacts of the fishery.
  • Request that the government expand the fishery management plan to include all fishing grounds.
  • Work with regulators to implement the use of biodegradable panels in all crab pots to prevent ghost fishing by lost gear.
  • Work with the government and supply chain to ensure compliance with all fishery regulations, especially gear specification and reporting requirements.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

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).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

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.

Reference Points

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).

CURRENT STATUS

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.

Trends

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.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 14 March 2012

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 14 Mar 2012

None required.

Mexico Pacific

Under the General Law on Sustainable Fishing and Aquaculture (Ley General de Acuacultura y Pesca Sustentable, LGAPS), the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación, SAGARPA) is responsible by the Fisheries sector. The agency responsible for fisheries management, monitoring and enforcement is CONAPESCA.

The fishery has been permit-managed since 2006, and regulated through specific management regulations (NOM-039-PESC-2003). A minimum carapace width is in force for each crab species, as is a ban on landing juveniles and landing or removing the eggs from berried females. Pots must have at least two escape openings (100×50mm) for small animals and lift nets have a minimum mesh size. Restrictions also apply in terms of fishing effort (e.g. limited number of gears by boat) and gear types in use. If deemed necessary, closed seasons and areas may also be put in place to protect these species during the reproduction period (SAGARPA, 2012a). Starting in 2013, the fishery is closed in May and June and, for females only, in July and August (SAGARPA, 2012b).

A fishery management plan (FMP) for crabs (Calllinectes spp.) is in place since July 2014 and includes coastal and estuarine areas of Sinaloa and Sonora (subdivided in 3 zones) (SAGARPA, 2014).

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 4 June 2013

The fishery is not quota managed; no official information on compliance with licenses and regulations is made available. A recent study on bycatch in the swimming crab fishery noted the use of driftnets (“chinchorros”) (in the Sonora region) (Balmori and Torre, 2012), which are illegal under the current management regulations for this fishery (NOM-039-PESC-2003).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 4 June 2013

Pacific seahorse Hippocampus ingens (“Vulnerable”; 2012 IUCN Red List) is the only protected species reported as bycatch in this fishery. Recorded Pacific seahorses are found associated with seagrasses that became entangled/floating on the ropes/strings of the fishing traps, particularly during the months of May-June. According to a recent study, the overall numbers of Pacific seahorses recorded in the fishing traps are however low and specimens are generally released alive. Starting 2013, a fishing ban will be put in place in these months (Balmori and Torre, 2012).

In terms of elasmobranchs, only two species of rays have been recorded as bycatch: Haller’s round ray Urolophus halleri (“Least Concern”; 2012 IUCN Red List) and Spot-on-spot round ray Urolophus concentricus (“Data Deficient”; 2012 IUCN Red List), but these comprise less than 0.2% of the total bycach (Balmori and Torre, 2012).

Other Species

Last updated on 19 November 2014

The crab fishery also catches warrior swimcrab, Callinectes bellicosus, and giant swimcrab, C. toxotes. A recent study on bycatch in this fishery identified a total 31 bycatch species, with the most important (by number) being pink-mouthed murex Phyllonotus erythrostoma, followed by hermit crabs Pagurus spp., turrid snails (Turridae), Spotted sand bass Paralabrax maculatofasciatus, bullseye puffer Sphoeroides annulatus, and Finescale triggerfish Balistes polylepis (Balmori and Torre, 2012).

Bycatch rates in this fishery are low compared with other fisheries of the kind. On average, 182 grams of bycacth are obtained per each kilogram of crab harvested (Balmori and Torre, 2012). Bycatch species depends of the type of bait used (SAGARPA, 2014).

HABITAT

Last updated on 4 June 2013

Sinaloa, Sonora, and Baja California Sur are the most important areas to artisanal fishery. These crabs inhabit the coastal areas(Spring-Summer) and depend on lagoon and estuary systems and their abundance decreases during autumn. There are migration from coastal areas to open sea associated with the reproduction of these organisms that seems to occur in high seas during September-November (Lopéz-Martinez et al., 2014). Cuata swimcrab is more abundant in Sinaloa (47% of the crabs catch) than in Sonora (5%) (SAGARPA, 2014).

Despite the bycatch of juvenile specimens of several species, traps are considered to be selective gear and the impacts on the ecosystem to be low (Ocampo et al., 2006). To reduce the chances of ghost fishing, the use of biodegradable materials in trap manufacture is to be studied, as is the possibility of developing a system of markers for traps (SAGARPA, 2012a).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 04 Jun 2013

Closed seasons and areas can be declared during reproduction and growth seasons, and the impacts of closures on crab biomass are to be studied (SAGARPA, 2012a). Starting in 2013, the fishery is closed in May and June and, for females only, in July and August (SAGARPA, 2012b).

Several marine protected areas are in place within the fishing region. A biosphere reserve is declared in the northern Gulf and restrictions on the size of crab caught and the number of traps per boat are in place. Within the reserve, in the delta of the Colorado River, no fishing is permitted, to conserve breeding and nursery areas for species including crabs (Secretary of the Environment, 2009).

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2014 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

A Fishery Management Plan is in place since 2014 for Sinaloa and Sonora region. The fishery is mainly managed via the number of permits issued. However, there is no individual assessment available for each crab species.

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Several important measures have been adopted including fishing effort and gear restrictions, minimum landing sizes and closed areas (SAGARPA, 2012a, 2012b). Catch levels are within advised ranges.

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is < 6.

The extent of non-compliance with regulations is not divulged by authorities. A recent study on bycatch in the swimming crab fishery (Balmori and Torre, 2012), noted the use of driftnets (“chinchorros”) (in the Sonora region), which are illegal under the current management regulations for this fishery (NOM-039-PESC-2003).

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Recent catch levels do not constitute a problem for the stock condition but Gulf of California catches are advised not to be increased (SAGARPA, 2012a). Current biomass estimates are not available but catches increased in 2013.

As calculated for 2014 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

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). 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.

No data available for biomass
No data available for biomass
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES

1) No scores can be quantitatively determined as insufficient data from assessments is available and no management plan is in place. Scores have thus been determined qualitatively, based on available information (please mouse-over for details).

2) The catch data series represents Mexican Pacific catches of all three swimming crabs (Callinectes bellicosus, C. arcuatus and C. toxotes) (sources: SAGARPA, 2012a and CONAPESCA/SAGARPA database for the period 2006-2013).

Download Source Data

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

SELECT FIP

Access FIP Public Report

Progress Rating: B
Evaluation Start Date: 1 Feb 2012
Type: Basic

Comments:

FIP rating remains  B. Last stage 4 achievement reported within the last 12 months.

1.
FIP Development
Jun 17
2.
FIP Launch
Jan 08
Jun 17
3.
FIP Implementation
Dec 11
4.
Improvements in Fishing Practices and Fishery Management
Apr 18
5.
Improvements on the Water
Verifiable improvement on the water
6.
MSC certification (optional)
MSC certificate made public

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits

Balmori, A. and Torre, J., 2012. Faunal bycatch in the swimming crab fishery in the Gulf of California (Sonora and Sinaloa). Instituto Nacional de Pesca (INAPESCA), Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI). July 2012. 11 pp.

FAO, 2010. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Statistics and Information Service. FishStatJ: Universal software for fishery statistical time series. Copyright 2011.http://www.fao.org/fishery/statistics/software/fishstatj/en

INAPESCA/COBI, 2013. Blog: “Proceso de elaboración del Plan de Manejo de Jaiba” [Blog: “Implementation process for the management plan of swimming crabs”]. Instituto Nacional de Pesca (INAPESCA), Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI). accessed on 01 June 2013.http://plandemanejojaiba.blogspot.com

IUCN, 2012. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Downloaded on 31 May 2013. http://www.iucnredlist.org

Lopéz-Martínez, J., Lopé-Herrera, L., Valdez-Holguin, J. E., Rabago-Quiroz, C. H., 2014. Population dynamics of the swimming crabs Callinectes (Portunidae) components of shrimp bycatch in the eastern coast of the Gulf of California. Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. vol.49 (1): 17-29 http://www.scielo.cl/pdf/revbiolmar/v49n1/art03.pdf

Munguía-Vega, A., G. Soria, G. Marinone, T. Pfister, J. Torre, L. A. Hurtado, P. Turk-Boyer, A. Pares and R. Cudney-Bueno, 2011. Conectividad Biologica de Invertebrados Marinos Comerciales del Golfo de California.http://conservationscience.com.mx/presentations/Fisheries_Community/Munguia_Fisheries%20and%20Communities.pdf

NOM-039-PESC-2003. “Pesca responsable de jaiba en aguas de jurisdicción federal del litoral del Océano Pacífico. Especificaciones para su aprovechamiento”. Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM). Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA). July 2006. 3 pp. (In Spanish.)http://faolex.fao.org/docs/pdf/mex67169.pdf

Ocampo, R.E.M, J.F.M. Farías & E.R. Félix, 2006. Jaiba del Golfo de California. In: Sustentabilidad y Pesca Responsible en México: Evaluación y Manejo. Instituto Nacional de la Pesca.http://inapesca.gob.mx/portal/documentos/publicaciones/LIBROS/libro_Rojo%202006.pdf

Project Seahorse, 2003. Hippocampus ingens. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. [Accessed on 12 December 2011].http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/10072/0

Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), 2009. AVISO por el que se informa al público en general que la Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas ha concluido la elaboración del Programa de Manejo de la Reserva de la Biosfera Alto Golfo de California y Delta del Río Colorado, ubicada en aguas del Golfo de California y en los municipios de Mexicali, Estado de Baja California, y de Puerto Peñasco y de San Luis Río Colorado, Estado de Sonora. Diario Oficial.http://www.conanp.gob.mx/que_hacemos/pdf/programas_manejo/Aviso%20PM%20RB%20Alto%20Golfo%20de%20California%20Delta%20DOF.pdf

Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA), 2010. Carta Nacional Pesquera [National Fisheries Annual Report]. 02 December 2010. 317 pp. (In Spanish.)http://conapesca.sagarpa.gob.mx/wb/cona/actualizacion_de_la_carta_nacional_pesquera_2010

Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA), 2012a. Carta Nacional Pesquera [National Fisheries Annual Report]. 24 August 2012. 236 pp. (In Spanish.)http://www.inapesca.gob.mx/portal/documentos/publicaciones/CARTA%20NACIONAL%20PESQUERA/24082012%20SAGARPA.pdf

Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA), 2012b. Acuerdo por el que se modifica el Aviso por el que se da a conocer el establecimiento de épocas y zonas de veda para la pesca de diferentes especies de la fauna acuática en aguas de jurisdicción federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, publicado el 16 de marzo de 1994 para establecer los periodos de veda de pulpo en el Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano, jaiba en Sonora y Sinaloa, tiburones y rayas en el Océano Pacífico y tiburones en el Golfo de México. 11 June 2012. (In Spanish.)http://dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5253633&fecha=11/06/2012

Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA), 2014. Acuerdo por el que se da a conocer el Plan de Manejo Pesquero de Jaiba (Callinectes spp.) de Sinaloa y Sonora. Diario Oficial, 15 July 2014. (in Spanish).http://www.inapesca.gob.mx/portal/documentos/Planes-de-Manejo-Pesquero/Pacifico/Plan-de-Manejo-Pesquero-de-Jaiba.pdf

References

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    Cuata swimcrab - Eastern Gulf of California, Mexico Pacific, Mexico, Portable lift nets

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