Length of capture and reproduction of green spiny lobster Panulirus gracilis (Decapoda: Palinuridae) from the coast of Manabí, Ecuador.
Green spiny lobster Panulirus gracilis is an economical resource of high importance for fishermen populations in the continental coast of Ecuador. Traditionally, this specie is captured using gillnets and semiautonomous diving system (hookah). With the objective to analyze some biological aspects about this fishery in Manabí, we examined lengths of capture (carapace length: CL and abdominal length: AL), sex ratio and reproductive aspects in females between June and September 2010. A total of 415 females and 288 males were captured with gillnets in El Mangle-Puerto Cayo (Central coast, depth: 3-6m), and by diving in Puerto López-Salango (South coast, depth: 7-12m). Sex ratio from males to females was 0.72:1 for gillnets, and 0.63:1 for diving. Lobsters captured by diving were larger (84.1±3.3mm CL) than lobsters captured by gillnets (73.4±2.9mm CL). Percentage of ovigerous females captured by diving was higher than females captured by gillnets. There was a pattern between lengths by sex (relation AL vs. CL); females were larger than males at same CL. Differences found between lengths and the occurrence of ovigerous females could be related with depth where capture methods are used. A total of 98% of landed lobsters were smaller than legal captured length and we recommend the establishment of a monitoring evaluation program during the fishing season, and a ban, in order to evaluate the natural fluctuation in length and reproductive stages of green spiny lobster in the coasts of Manabí.
Keywords: panulirus gracilis, green spiny lobster, length of capture, reproductive aspects, gillnets, diving, ecuador