, Volume 79, Issue 1, pp 21-32

Abundance and genetic diversity of the red crab Pleuroncodes planipes along the western coast of the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico

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Abstract

This study reports the distribution, estimated abundance and biomass, and genetic population structure of the red crab Pleuroncodes planipes along the western coast of the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. Using a hybrid conical net for fish and crustaceans, bottom trawls with stratified depth were performed at transect sites perpendicular to the coast. Red crab was observed to distribute widely in the study area, particularly in upwelling areas such as Bahia Magdalena and its surroundings, and the greatest catches were recorded at depths between 51 and 100 m, and between 201 and 300 m, with values of 2,297 and 3,223 kg/h of trawl, respectively. The population genetic analysis using mitochondrial DNA sequencing revealed no significant population differentiation. The total estimated biomass was 611,525 metric tons, supporting the proposal that the red crab is a viable exploitation resource in the study area.