Title: Assessment of the Spiny lobster (Panulirus argus, L. 1804) in the northeastern Cuban waters

Final project
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Supervisors: Gudmundur Thordarson
spiny lobster; Cuba; stock assessment;


Spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), the most valuable fishery resource in Cuba, is subject to a state property regime and to a limited-access system. Assessment of the population in the northeastern shelf of Cuban waters is the subject of this report. To conduct the analysis required for stock assessment, a matrix of catch at age and length frequency by sex, and effort information from the commercial fleet was used as input data. The possibility of using length frequency from fishery data to analyse different assumptions on growth were evaluated and the suitability of different ADAPT VPA methods tested for the Cuban northeastern lobster to obtain predictions on current stock levels. The effects of different management scenarios including present strategy on the short-term yield of the stock were explored. The aggregated length distributions over each year from the fishing industry are not informative enough to estimate growth parameters for the stock. The exploitation rate has been at high levels since 1998 and over 50% after a decrease in effort in 2001 and 2004 the fisheries induced mortality rate was at 0.4, which is above the F0.1. The main age groups in the lobster catch in this zone are of ages 3 to 6. There is a general decreasing trend in recruitment, which can be related to a decrease in spawning stock biomass (SSB). In a projection for 2005 and 2006 it is demonstrated that the F 0.1 strategy with a fishing mortality rate of 0.3 will most likely result in higher values of SSB in 2005 without a decrease the catch (similar to 2004) and similar applies to yield and SSB in 2006.

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