Potential of a trap-fishery for deep-water rock lobster Palinurus delagoae off South Africa
J. C. Groeneveld and A. C. Cockcroft
Marine and Freshwater Research
48(8) 993 - 1000
An experiment to investigate the potential of a trap-fishery for deep-water rock lobster Palinurus delagoae was conducted off the east coast of South Africa between 1994 and 1996. The 75–425 m depth interval between 27°S and 32°S was stratified according to depth and latitude, and three regions (North, Central and South) were sampled systematically over the three years. Sampling by commercial vessels operating long-lines and traps included an experimental phase (fixed fishing positions) and a commercial phase (no restriction on fishing location). Generalized linear models were used to investigate the influence of year, region, sampling phase, month and soak time. Sampling phase was significant, with traps set during the commercial phase catching more than those set in the experimental phase. The effect of soak time on catch rates was not significant. The almost-50% decrease in the combined abundance index combined with a marked decrease in mean lobster size over the study period suggests a relatively low fisheries potential for this species in South African waters; this may be attributable to the relative scarcity of suitable habitat in the area.
Full text doi:10.1071/MF97190
© CSIRO 1997