Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 49(1): 17-29


Population dynamics of the swimming crabs Callinectes (Portunidae) components of shrimp bycatch in the eastern coast of the Gulf of California

Juana López-Martínez1, Leonor López-Herrera2, J. Eduardo Valdez-Holguín2 and Carlos H. Rábago-Quiroz3

1Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, S.C. Unidad Sonora, Campus Guaymas. Km. 2,35, Carretera a Las Tinajas, S/N, Colonia Las Tinajas, C.P. 85465, Guaymas, Sonora, México
2Departamento de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas de la Universidad de Sonora, Luis Donaldo Colosio S/N, entre Sahuaripa y Reforma, Colonia Centro, C.P. 83000, Hermosillo, Sonora, México
3Instituto Nacional de Pesca. Centro Regional de Investigación Pesquera, Carretera a Pichilingue, Km. 1 S/N, Colonia El Esterito, C.P. 23022, La Paz, Baja California Sur, México

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Population dynamics of 3 Callinectes species: C. arcuatus, C. bellicosus, and C. toxotes are reported for the first time as incidental shrimp bycatch samplings captured in the eastern Gulf of California in a range from 10 to 77 m in depth from September 2004 to March 2005. Growth, longevity, recruitment pattern, mortality (natural, total, and by fishing), and exploitation rate were analyzed. Also, size comparison among the organisms captured by the shrimp and artisanal fishing fleets was calculated. Callinectes arcuatus (n = 737) was more abundant than the other two (C. bellicosus, n = 291 and C. toxotes, n = 344). Significant differences were shown between size distribution of C. arcuatus and C. bellicosus captured by the 2 fleets; the shrimp fleet extracted mainly organisms in sizes ranging from 50 to 120 mm in carapace width (CW), while the artisanal fleet extracted sizes from 75 to 155 mm in CW from both species. Growth parameters were moderate (L¥= 160, 173, and 168 mm; K= 1.1., 1.3 and 0.9 year-1 for C. arcuatus, C. bellicosus, and C. toxotes, respectively), estimating a 4-year longevity for the 3 species. The reproductive recruitment pattern showed a continuous period with a peak from May to August. The exploitation rate did not show a significant degree of overexploitation for any of the species. There are some differences in the parameters of population dynamics (sizes, growth) of this species based on data from commercial captures and those obtained with data of incidental captures. It is important to perform an analysis including both types of information for an adequate fishery management of these resources.

Key words:  Callinectes, population dynamics, bycatch fauna, Gulf of California