Title: An analysis of puerulus settlement of the Caribbean Spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) stock in Jamaica with practical management recommendations

Final project
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Supervisors: Jónas P. Jónasson
spiny lobster; Jamaica; analysis;


Jamaica’s spiny lobster fishery is the second most important in the country. As such it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the various developmental stages within the stock so measures can be put in place to protect the most vulnerable stages throughout the year. This project was therefore undertaken as a result of said necessity. The settlement pattern of the puerulus stage of the spiny lobster was analyzed by comparing it to environmental parameters of sea surface temperature and chlorophyll a as well as with recruitment. Management strategies practiced by Jamaica and other countries within the Caribbean region and beyond its borders were also examined. A yield per recruit analysis was carried out to ascertain the effectiveness of closed season scenarios and varying minimum legal sizes; length frequency data and female spawning stages were also looked at. It was found that Bowden Bay had an annual settlement peak period of January to April and that settlement was correlated to temperature and chlorophyll a. The settlement patterns were not as clear for Coquar Bay. More information is necessary to assess the significance of the current closed season (April - June), even so, it has demonstrated that it may be having a possible effect on recruitment to the fishery (March – June). Jamaica could potentially increase its spiny lobster yield by increasing the minimum legal size (MLS) close to a carapace length (CL) of 93 mm though other actions such as banning the catching of tar spot lobster could also increase its recruiting potential.

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