Title: Sustainable management of Guyana’s seabob (Xiphopenaeus kroyeri.) trawl fishery.

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Seabob (Xiphopenaeus kroyeri) is the most exploited shrimp species in Guyana and the largest seafood export. This species is mostly caught by seabob trawlers, sometimes with large quantities of bycatch. The goal of this paper is to promote the long-term sustainability of marine stocks impacted by this fishery, by analysing 1) shrimp stock status, 2) the current state of knowledge regarding bycatch impacts, and 3) spatial fishing patterns of seabob trawlers. To address the first, the paper discusses a stock assessment on Guyana`s seabob stock using the Stochastic Surplus Production Model in Continuous-Time (SPiCT). The model output suggests that the stock is currently in an overfished state, i.e., that the predicted Absolute Stock Biomass (Bt) for 2018 is four times smaller than the Biomass which yields Maximum Sustainable Yield at equilibrium (BMSY) and the current fishing mortality (Ft) is six times above the required to achieve Fishing Mortality which results in Maximum Sustainable Yield at equilibrium (FMSY). These results indicate a more overfished state than was generated by the previous stock assessment which concluded that the stock was fully exploited but not overfished (Medley, 2013).To address the second goal, the study linked catch and effort data with spatial Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data to analyse the mixture of target and non-target species within the seabob fishery. The analysis found that of the five most common species in the bycatch, three are juveniles of species with economic value. Seabob biological data analysis found that the mean size of seabob has gradually reduced when assessed between the years 2008-2018. Recommendations for fishery improvements include i.a. further capacity building in the understanding and application of appropriate stock assessment models for local experts, institute data quality measures, utilisation of a database, the continuation of current data collections with improvements and decreases in seabob sizes and investigation of the high presence of economically valuable species in bycatch.

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