Minimum landing size for northeast atlantic stocks of deep-water red crab, chaceon affinis (milne edwards and bouvier, 1894)
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Robinson, M. (2008). Minimum landing size for northeast atlantic stocks of deep-water red crab, chaceon affinis (milne edwards and bouvier, 1894). ICES Journal of Marine Science 65 (2), 148-154
Annual landings of the deep-water red crab (Chaceon affinis) in the NE Atlantic have fluctuated around 1000 t for much of the past decade, but they dropped significantly in 2006. No EU or National Member State legislation governs the harvest of the species, and because of the on-board processing, it is difficult to set a single minimum landing size (MLS) based on carapace width (CW) alone. As the claws are detached during processing and represent the most valuable component of the catch, a supplementary MLS based on claw length (CL) for onshore inspection and enforcement would seem appropriate. Physiological size-at-maturity and morphometric claw data were used to derive primary (CW) and secondary (CL) MLS. All males and females are mature at I 10 and 125 mm CW, respectively, and 50% of females are mature at 109 mm CW. Because of a lack of information relating to the biology, distribution, and fishing mortality of the species, and a doubt as to real landing statistics, a conservative MLS of 120 mm CW and 72 mm CL is suggested, representing the first use of commercial fisheries data to suggest MLS for this otherwise unregulated fishery.