Evaluation of hatchery-based enhancement of the mud crab, Scylla spp., fisheries in mangroves: comparison of species and release strategies
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Ranching, stock enhancement and restocking are management approaches involving the release of wild or hatchery-bred organisms to enhance, conserve or restore fisheries. The present study, conducted from April 2002 to November 2005, evaluated the effectiveness of releasing wild and hatchery-reared (HR) mud crabs in the mangroves of Ibajay, Aklan, Philippines where preliminary studies demonstrated declining fishery yields, abundance and size of crabs. Comparison of survival and growth of wild-released and HR Scylla olivacea and HR Scylla serrata demonstrated the effect of nursery conditioning, size-at-release and species differences. Overall yield and catch per unit effort (CPUE) increased by 46% after stock enhancement trials. Recapture rates of released crabs were highest in wild-released S. olivacea and in crabs measuring 65.0–69.9 mm carapace width (CW) and lowest in non-conditioned HR S. serrata. Growth rates were highest for conditioned HR S. olivacea and lowest for conditioned HR S. serrata (11.7 and 3.7 mm month-1 respectively). Fishing mortality was highest for S. olivacea, whereas natural mortality was greater for S. serrata. Conditioning hatchery-bred animals before release is also important in obtaining higher survival. S. olivacea was the more appropriate of the two species for release in mangrove habitats inundated with low-salinity water. However, there is a need for site-specific studies to evaluate the effectiveness of releases.
Suggested CitationLebata, M. J. H. L., Le Vay, L., Walton, M. E., Biñas, J. B., Quinitio, E. T., Rodriguez, E. M., & Primavera, J. H. (2009). Evaluation of hatchery-based enhancement of the mud crab, Scylla spp., fisheries in mangroves: comparison of species and release strategies.
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