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Profile updated on 13 September 2023
Mola rock crab, Jaiba marmola, stone crab
According to Nations (1975; in (Veliz et al. 2022)), the distribution of the Mola rock crab goes from Ecuador to Southern Chile. In Chilean territory, the species distributes from the Arica Region to the Magellan Strait in Chile (Retamal et al. 2009; Martinez 1986; in (Pardo et al. 2017)) and to the Beagle Channel (Vinuesa et al. 1999). Studies conducted in various locations of the Chilean coast indicate that the population is genetically homogeneous, with high connectivity along its geographical distribution; likely owing to the species’ high fecundity and larval dispersion capability, among other reproductive characteristics (Rojas-Hernandez et al. 2014)(Ferrada Fuentes et al. 2018)(Veliz et al. 2022), but if there is only one stock along its entire distribution is still unknown.
Los Lagos (X) Region is the one providing the most landings for the country with the Aysen (XI) Region in second place, accounting for an average of 76% and 21%, respectively, of the total national mola rock crab catch (Sernapesca Yearbook data, 2018-2021). Additionally, several programs and research have been implemented at Ancud bay, in Los Lagos Region, which could bring light into the entire stock. The Instituto de Fomento Pesquero (IFOP) publishes stock assessments for some regions, most consistently for the Los Lagos Region, including assessments for Aysen Region at least since 2021 (Yañez and Ibarra 2021). Management (Subpesca) stands for the entire country, but assessments have focused on the most productive areas: Biobio, Los Lagos, and Aysen Regions (Yañez 2017). However, there are management committees in the Los Lagos and Aysén Regions (Subpesca 2020).