Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 894–901 | Cite as

Sustainable fisheries in shallow lakes: an independent empirical test of the Chinese mitten crab yield model

  • Haijun Wang (王海军)
  • Xiaomin Liang (梁小民)
  • Hongzhu Wang (王洪铸)Email author
Aquaculture and Fisheries


Next to excessive nutrient loading, intensive aquaculture is one of the major anthropogenic impacts threatening lake ecosystems. In China, particularly in the shallow lakes of mid-lower Changjiang (Yangtze) River, continuous overstocking of the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) could deteriorate water quality and exhaust natural resources. A series of crab yield models and a general optimum-stocking rate model have been established, which seek to benefit both crab culture and the environment. In this research, independent investigations were carried out to evaluate the crab yield models and modify the optimum-stocking model. Low percentage errors (average 47%, median 36%) between observed and calculated crab yields were obtained. Specific values were defined for adult crab body mass (135 g/ind.) and recapture rate (18% and 30% in lakes with submerged macrophyte biomass above and below 1 000 g/m2) to modify the optimum-stocking model. Analysis based on the modified optimum-stocking model indicated that the actual stocking rates in most lakes were much higher than the calculated optimum-stocking rates. This implies that, for most lakes, the current stocking rates should be greatly reduced to maintain healthy lake ecosystems.


Chinese mitten crab sustainable fishery yield model optimum-stocking model independent test Changjiang lakes 


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We thank CUI Yongde, LIU Xueqin, and ZHAO Weihua for their help with fieldwork. Special thanks to YE Shaowen for providing crab data for Niushan Lake and LI Yan for help with graph preparation.


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haijun Wang (王海军)
    • 1
  • Xiaomin Liang (梁小民)
    • 1
  • Hongzhu Wang (王洪铸)
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of HydrobiologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina

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