Last updated on 5 August 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Lithodes santolla

SPECIES NAME(s)

Southern king crab

Southern king crab presents a distribution including three countries with distinct management, from region XIV (40º S), in central-southern Chile, down to the Beagle Channel (Tierra del Fuego, Chile and Argentina) and up through the southwestern Atlantic coast of Argentina to the deeper parts (ca. 700 m depth) of the continental slope of Uruguay (see Retamal, 1981; Boschi et al., 1992; Gorny, 1999; Vinuesa, 1991 in (Anger et al. 2004)). Four Southern king crab (Lithodes santolla) populations have been identified in the SW Atlantic: i) Bonaerense and SW Atlantic continental shelf, ii) Gulf of St. Jorge and SW Atlantic continental shelf, iii) Tierra del Fuego and Santa Cruz coasts and SW Atlantic continental shelf and iv) Beagle Channel (INIDEP, 2016).

In Chile, the species can be found from the XIV to the XII regions, but concerning management, there are two main units, XIV-XI and XII regions that account for most landings (Sernapesca). Region XIV’s fishery is incipient, and region XI is in process of creating a new management committee, but so far both are considered, with X region, to have the same management. 


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • An analytical assessment is performed, the spawning component is well above the MSY target. 
  • The fishery counts with one management committee of its own and it is included as a target resource in a committee operating in this and other regions.
  • Illegal fishing has been discussed in current meetings of the management committee. 
  • For several years this resource is included in two monitoring programs, compilating data on the fishery performance, allowing management to have data updates yearly.
  • Some regulation measures are in place to moderate the fishing effort.
Weaknesses
  • No specific management goals are established for the fishery.
  • The resource is in full exploitation but close to an overexploitation situation. The administration situates the resource in a probable state of overexploitation since 2011, although previous studies suggest the excess of extraction since 1979.
  • There are several species caught for bait and the impact is not determined. 
  • Despite several recommendations to reduce catch limits and the fishing effort, managers do not the follow scientific advice.
  • Illegal fishing has been occurring but there are no quantitative estimates. 
  • Some of the non-target species caught are in an unknown condition or being overexploited but the interaction is not quantified. 
  • Chilean marine habitats and ecosystem are not described. No information is collected on possible impacts of the traps on the ecosystem or habitat.
Options
  • Perform further analysis with information compiled in monitoring programs, generate proper recommendations for the fishery. If not, management should comply with previous reference points, advising to reduce fishing effort.
  • Revision of current regulations, such as temporal closures in light of female with eggs and individuals with soft carapace occurrence in early fishing after closure.
  • Generate a scientific committee, as there is for other resources, for the southern king crab, as the current committee in which it is included does not take this species as a priority.
  • Monitoring program in manufacturing plants to account and reduce illegal fishing of females.
  • Research on ecosystem impacts generated by the gear should be performed.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

< 6

Managers Compliance:

< 6

Fishers Compliance:

< 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

8.7

Future Health:

4.7


FIPS

No related FIPs

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
Beagle Channel Argentina Argentina Pots
Chile XII Chile Pots

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Strengths
Chile XII

Last updated on 30 October 2018

  • An analytical assessment is performed, the spawning component is well above the MSY target. 
  • The fishery counts with one management committee of its own and it is included as a target resource in a committee operating in this and other regions.
  • Illegal fishing has been discussed in current meetings of the management committee. 
  • For several years this resource is included in two monitoring programs, compilating data on the fishery performance, allowing management to have data updates yearly.
  • Some regulation measures are in place to moderate the fishing effort.
Weaknesses
Chile XII

Last updated on 30 October 2018

  • No specific management goals are established for the fishery.
  • The resource is in full exploitation but close to an overexploitation situation. The administration situates the resource in a probable state of overexploitation since 2011, although previous studies suggest the excess of extraction since 1979.
  • There are several species caught for bait and the impact is not determined. 
  • Despite several recommendations to reduce catch limits and the fishing effort, managers do not the follow scientific advice.
  • Illegal fishing has been occurring but there are no quantitative estimates. 
  • Some of the non-target species caught are in an unknown condition or being overexploited but the interaction is not quantified. 
  • Chilean marine habitats and ecosystem are not described. No information is collected on possible impacts of the traps on the ecosystem or habitat.
Options
Chile XII
  • Perform further analysis with information compiled in monitoring programs, generate proper recommendations for the fishery. If not, management should comply with previous reference points, advising to reduce fishing effort.
  • Revision of current regulations, such as temporal closures in light of female with eggs and individuals with soft carapace occurrence in early fishing after closure.
  • Generate a scientific committee, as there is for other resources, for the southern king crab, as the current committee in which it is included does not take this species as a priority.
  • Monitoring program in manufacturing plants to account and reduce illegal fishing of females.
  • Research on ecosystem impacts generated by the gear should be performed.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT
Chile XII

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Even though no literature is found differentiating populations of the southern king crab in Chile, two assessment and management units exist. The first includes three regions (XIV, X and XI) and the second is the XII region by itself (Beagle Channel). Most studies, performed by the Fisheries Development Institute (IFOP), are done either on the northern (Peñailillo et al. 1994)(Yañez et al. 1997)(Olguin et al. 2017) or on the southern unit (Canales et al. 1999)(Canales et al. 1997)(Guzman et al. 2004)(Valdebenito et al. 2017) separately, but the Undersecretary of Fisheries (Subpesca) presents every year a summary of the status of every fishery, presenting the fishery as a whole, at the national level (Subpesca 2018).

Being one of the most important resources in southern Chile, the southern king crab is included in two monitoring programs, one in X-XI regions, the other in XII region (Olguin et al. 2017) (Valdebenito et al. 2017). These programmes consist of monthly campaigns both onboard fishing boats and in main landing ports where data is collected on the catches as well as fishing effort, bait, and bycatch.

The fishery started recording landings' data in 1953, being the information used to determine a landing point of reference (Subpesca 2018). Landings' data and biological parameters determined since 1961 are used to perform an analysis of the resource in the XII region (Yañez et al. 2015)(Yañez 2017). The data used allowed the application of an analytical assessment model to determine population estimates and an approx of the current status of the resource. Several assumptions were made according to the biological characteristics of the species known from previous studies performed. Of the evaluated scenarios, the base case has shown the resource in the worst condition being the remaining scenarios much more optimistic (Yañez 2017).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE
Chile XII

Last updated on 30 October 2018

The two most recent studies on the state of the resource point to a major reduction on fishing mortality through reduction of catches to 1,600 tons (Yañez et al. 2015) and to 1,380 tons (Yañez 2017) in the XII region. Previous studies have been suggesting as well a reduction in catches (Canales et al. 1999)(Canales et al. 1997)(Guzman et al. 2004). Subpesca, using average landings since 1996 (period of closure), advises 3,770 tonnes as the reference point for landings (Subpesca 2018) but none of these recommendations is assumed by managers to establish catch limits. 

The monitoring program in the XII region (Valdebenito et al. 2017) has only generated two reports so far (outreach information), publicly available. It includes information on 2016 fishing activities, which do not suffice to generate informed recommendations for the future of the fishery but other results can be of importance, considering current and possible regulations to include. 

CURRENT STATUS
Chile XII

Last updated on 30 October 2018

The 1997 assessment determined that the resource exploited in the XII region was exposed to overfishing and being overexploited since 1979, sensitive to fishing rates over 10%, and landings have been rising ever since (Canales et al. 1997)(Subpesca 2018). In 2004 (Guzman et al. 2004) mentioned that the state of the fishery in the XII region had deteriorated and many variables were showing signs of overexploitation, such as low proportion of males over the minimum legal size, or the sex ratio with considerable fewer males than females and finally trap efficiency, all suggesting that landings should be reduced. Reduction of average size in both sexes, although fluctuant, has persisted for the last years (Subpesca 2017).

In 2015, the last assessment available, the spawning stock was at 4,508 tonnes well above the MSY target defined at 3,846 tonnes (40% of virgin biomass). Fishing mortality was at 1.18, almost twice the MSY target F at 0.65, putting the resource close to a situation of overexploitation but still in full exploitation (Yañez 2017). The exploitable biomass was estimated at 3,247 tons, and 4,519 tons were extracted in the XII region (SERNAPESCA n.d.), a 39% over the exploitable biomass. The MSY reference points advised are proxies due to the assessment model constrictions. 

The XII region is the most important in terms of landings, which have shown a steady increase since the 70s and a maximum catch in 2012 with around 5,100 tons (SERNAPESCA n.d.). The reference landing point (advised at 3,770 tonnes by Subpesca) has been surpassed since 2011, and this increment since 1996 corresponds to an increase in the fishing effort as well as in fishing areas and sets the fishery in a situation of a high probability of being overexploited (Subpesca 2018).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT
Chile XII

Last updated on 30 October 2018

So far two different management entities support the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Subsecretaría de Pesca y Acuicultura, Subpesca) in taking decisions over this fishery, and one other is being postulated. New areas are being exploited at least since 2008 (Subpesca 2017) and no studies or specific management measures are taken for them.

Measures taken to control the fishery include a prohibition for new fishermen to inscribe to it until 2020 (Subpesca 2017), the use of traps as unique gear allowed (Subpesca 1981), a minimum landing size of 120 mm from 46º30’ parallel (southern hemisphere) to the south (XII region) (Subpesca 1987), and closures both for females and reproductive closures (Subpesca 1990)(Subpesca 1991)(Subpesca 2003). The effect on the stock of these measures have not been assessed, and since the last establishment of the temporal closure in 2003, modifications on certain areas and specific years have been conducted.

In the XII region, and because landings had decreased 40% in 2017 it was agreed by the management to delay the beginning of the closure (and reduce it in duration) considering social and economic needs of the fishery (Subpesca 2017). It was argued that no decline is seen in the stock monitoring that could relate to fishing activities. Studies in the 90s and 2004 already showed high mortalities and advised a decrease in effort (Yañez et al. 1997)(Canales et al. 1999)(Canales et al. 1997)(Guzman et al. 2004), and more recently a decrease in the average landing size was stated for 2007-2016 with the exception of 2011 and 2013 (Subpesca 2017), and the Undersecretary of Fisheries has informed of its probable overexploited status since 2014 (Subpesca 2015). Therefore, the precautionary approach was not considered in these recent modifications of reproductive bans.

COMPLIANCE
Chile XII

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Measures have been taken since 1981 for this fishery, Sernapesca is the agency in charge of surveillance and supervising fishing practices as well as enforcement. Sernapesca focuses surveillance on main ports, where it becomes easier to operate on large amounts, and the number of supervising operations over landing activities of the industrial fleet doubles the amount on the artisanal (SERNAPESCA 2017). The monitoring programs performed in the region might persuade fishers to comply occasionally, but there is no information on activities performed by Sernapesca directly on the southern king crab’s fishery. 

No TACs are set, but there is a reference landing point that has been surpassed since 2011 (Subpesca 2018). Illegal fishing has been pointed out to be an issue on this fishery (Yañez et al. 2015)(Yañez 2017) and in 2004 (Guzman et al. 2004) explained how, not only females are being poached, but also not allowed gears, such as nets, are being used for exploiting this resource, and taking individuals below the minimum size as well as being processed and transported illegally. Nevertheless, the magnitude of these activities is not known to this date. Entire sessions of the management committee, including fishermen, are destined to deal with this issues only since 2016, where rough estimates and sources are discussed (ECOS 2016)(ECOS 2017). It is agreed by the committee to include the issue of illegal fishing on the management plan (ECOS 2017). Crabs with high market value are more likely to be poached, arguing (Petrossian et al. 2015) that local fisheries working together with enforcement agencies is key to solve it.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species
Chile XII
Chile
Pots

Last updated on 30 October 2018

The southern king crab fishery operates, legally, only with traps (with baits), and the abundance and composition of bycatch species differ with location. Two ongoing monitoring programs collect data on bycatch composition when fishermen collect traps, one operating in the X and XI regions and the other in the XII region. Available reports on this do not inform of amounts of the different species, only the relative frequency of each group or species. (Guzman et al. 2004) mentioned that bycatch of this fishery does not account for more than 3% of the catches (measured in weight), but no more recent assessment of quantities is found. Traps have been described as an important source of bycatch, scoring as “High” (4 out of 5) impact on crabs bycatch (Chuenpagdee et al. 2003). This is important to consider when considering other species of crabs such as Paralomis granulosa or Metacarcinus edwarsii when these species are assessed officially.

The three different studies that evaluated bycatch (Peñailillo et al. 1994)(Olguin et al. 2017)(Valdebenito et al. 2017) found the presence of the genus Genypterus, but only one (Peñailillo et al. 1994) identified it as G. blacodes, officially classified as overexploited in Chile. The other two species are mentioned in these studies (Olguin et al. 2017)(Valdebenito et al. 2017), Mola rock crab Metacarcinus edwarsii and Patagonian giant octopus Enteroctopus megalocyathus, both present signs of being overexploited but need further studies (Subpesca 2018). The information provided by these studies does not allow the evaluation of the impact of the fishery on these non-target species, as they only reported relative frequencies of the species caught.

Other Species
Chile XII
Chile
Pots

Last updated on 30 October 2018

The southern king crab fishery operates, legally, only with traps (with baits), and the abundance and composition of bycatch species differ with location. Two ongoing monitoring programs collect data on bycatch composition when fishermen collect traps, one operating in the X and XI regions and the other in the XII region. Available reports on this do not inform of amounts of the different species, only the relative frequency of each group or species. Nevertheless, (Guzman et al. 2004) mentioned that bycatch of this fishery does not account for more than 3% of the catches (measured in weight), but no more recent assessment of quantities is found.

(Olguin et al. 2017) only inform about the relative frequency of groups, being 69% other crustaceans (mainly Metacarcinus edwarsii), 22% of sea urchins and starfish, 5% of fish (Salilota australis, Sebastes capensis and Genypterus spp.) and finally 4% molluscs (only Enteroctopus megalocyathus). (Valdebenito et al. 2017) informed of the relative frequency of species in different areas of the XII region. The most representative species were Paralomis granulosa, mostly from one location, Enteroctopus megalocyathus and Salilota australis. Given the information provided in this study, we can’t assess the impact this fishery is having on these species. For most of these species, the main concern is the lack of information on their stocks and, of course, the impact of fishing activities.

It was mentioned as a common practice to fish for bait with other gears such as gillnets or longlines getting from 75 to 150 kg of bait for 300 traps (Guzman et al. 2004). According to the most recent monitoring programs bait is bought to either other fishermen or to aquaculture enterprises and consists mostly of heads of fish once the animals were processed (Olguin et al. 2017)(Valdebenito et al. 2017), including leftovers of Merluccius australis, Macruronus magellanicus and Seriolella caerulea (ECOS 2017), or Merluccius australis, Xiphias gladius, Genypterus blacodes, Brama australis, Dissostichus eleginoides, sharks and rays, including salmon from aquaculture plants in the XI region, and might include non-marine baits (Olguin et al. 2017). (Valdebenito et al. 2017) confirmed that bait might also be caught using gillnets and longlines, so either they bought heads and spines of salmon, G. blacodes, D. eleginoides or M. australis or they might fish for M. magellanicus, Helicolenus lengerichi, Eleginops maclovinus or rays. The amount fished has not been evaluated.

HABITAT
Chile XII
Chile
Pots

Last updated on 30 October 2018

This resource is found in 100 to 320 m deep and associated with marine canyons (Peñailillo et al. 1994). Chilean marine habitats are not described and the interaction of the fishery is unknown.

ECOSYSTEM
Chile XII
Chile
Pots

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Since 1981 only traps are authorized to capture this resource. Research on the efficiency of different baits was produced in 1994 (Peñailillo et al. 1994), but there are no studies on the impact the use of these baits produce, neither on the effects on ecosystem derived from the use of these traps. The resource is found in 100 to 320 m deep and associated with marine canyons (Peñailillo et al. 1994). The use of traps has been pointed out as a potential damage for fauna causing physical damage with either its structure or the weights used with them. This gear has been mentioned to cause medium (3 out of 5) physical damage when compared with other gears, as they could interact with corals, sponges, kelps or other static organisms, but also it could affect once is lost continuously harming the seafloor or through ghost fishing to marine fauna (Chuenpagdee et al. 2003).

Sernapesca is the agency in charge of surveillance and supervising fishing practices as well as enforcement. This agency’s report on the environmental practices focus solely on aquaculture activities (here).

The management committee agreed in 2017 to settle an environmental commission inside the committee to work together with authorities and generate environmental projects (ECOS 2017).

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 29 October 2018

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2017 data.

The score is < 6.

There are no specific goals to manage the fishery apart the measures taken to control the fishery as a prohibition for new fishermen to inscribe to it until 2020 (Subpesca 2017), the use of traps as unique gear allowed (Subpesca 1981), a minimum legal landing size of 120 mm from 46º30' parallel to the south (XII region) (Subpesca 1987), and closures both for females and reproductive closures (Subpesca 1990)(Subpesca 1991)(Subpesca 2003).

As calculated for 2004 data.

The score is < 6.

Several recommendations have been done on catch limits (either by the assessment reports: Yañez et al. (2015) and Yañez (2017) or Subpesca) but no limits are established by managers. Landings are well above these recommendations.

As calculated for 2004 data.

The score is < 6.

Females have been being poached, but also not allowed gears, such as nets, are being used for exploiting this resource, and taking individuals below the minimum size as well as being processed and transported illegally (Guzman et al. 2004). Nevertheless, the magnitude of these activities is not known to this date.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 8.7.

This measures the SSB as a percentage of the SSBmsy.

The SSB is 4.51 ('000 t). The SSBmsy is 3.85 ('000 t) .

The underlying SSB/SSBmsy for this index is 117%.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 4.7.

This measures the F as a percentage of the Fmsy.

The F is 1.18 . The Fmsy is 0.650 .

The underlying F/Fmsy for this index is 182%.

ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS

Click on the score to see subscore

Click on the score to see subscore

Click on the score to see subscore

×

Bycatch Subscores

Some of the non-target species are in an unknown condition or being overexploited (Pink cusk-eel Genypterus blacodes, Mola rock crab Metacarcinus edwarsiiand and Patagonian giant octopus Enteroctopus megalocyathus(Subpesca 2018). Monitoring programs offer relative frequency of bycatch species, but not quantities or associated mortalities (Olguin et al. 2017)(Valdebenito et al. 2017). Therefore there is insufficient information to allow impacts on ETP or main species to be determined. 

×

Habitat Subscores

There is no information on timing, location or severity of the impacts of the gear on habitats.

The Chilean marine habitat is not described.

×

Ecosystem Subscores

There is no information on timing, location or severity of the impacts of the gear on the ecosystem. There are several species caught for bait and the impact is not determined. 

The Chilean marine ecosystem is not described. 

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
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
Chile XII

Last updated on 30 October 2018

  • Landings 1992-2016 are from Sernapesca.
  • The scientific advised target removal rate (FMSY=0.65) was used for the determination of the Future Health score, in lack of a management target removal rate (Yañez 2017).
  • Despite scientific recommendations on catch limits, no measures are established thus a qualitative Managers' compliance score was determined. 
  • In lack of quantitative information, a qualitative score was assigned to Fishers' compliance, based on the available information. 

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
  1. INIDEP, 2016. Centolla (Lithodes santolla). [Accessed on 28 July 2016]. http://www.inidep.edu.ar/especies/centolla-lithodes-santolla/
References

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