Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Catchability of the southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii. II. Effects of size

P. E. Ziegler, C. R. Johnson, S. D. Frusher and C. Gardner

Marine and Freshwater Research 53(8) 1149 - 1159
Published: 31 January 2003


For most of the year, the size-frequency distribution of trap-caught southern rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii, reflected size-specific catchability rather than the size-frequency distribution of the population in a scientific reserve in Tasmania, Australia. The size-frequency distributions of the population on the ground and of lobsters captured in traps were similar only during a few months, typically during moulting and mating. Small males and females were usually under-represented in traps. Catchability generally increased with size, but varied with sex and season. During moulting and mating, size-specific catchability and relative selectivity of larger animals were similar to or lower than for smaller animals. The relative pattern of catchability throughout the year was similar for most size classes within each sex. Negative associations between small and large lobsters in traps were stronger in winter than in summer, indicating strong behavioural interactions. These interactions could explain the lower catchability of smaller lobsters. Relative selectivity estimates using tag–recapture and size-specific catchability data provided generally similar results.

© CSIRO 2003

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