, Volume 89, Issue 3, pp 263-269

Population structure and migration of the stone crab Lithodes murrayi in the Crozet Islands, Subantarctic Indian Ocean

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The composition of a population of Lithodes murrayi Henderson, 1888, and its estival movements in the Crozet Archipelago have been studied from catches made on three summer cruises (1974, 1976, 1982). The vertical distribution of the species in relation to sex and size-classes has been analyzed and the evolution of these parameters during the late austral summer and early autumn followed. Size at first maturity has been estimated. A pattern of the migration of the species is deduced, whereby males precede females and juveniles in the summer displacement to shallower bottoms. Fishing results using traps and beam trawl are compared, and the limitation of the former gear for studying population dynamics is discussed.

Communicated by J. M. Pérès, Marseille