Abstract

Abstract: Evaluation of the growth of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus in coastal Tamaulipas, Mexico: comparison of three indirect methods. The blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) is one of the major fisheries of the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico; both in volume and selling price, such as employment generation, but has little information on its biological characteristics. The aim of this study was to evaluate the growth parameters of the blue crab, establishing the most appropriate method to do it. Length frequency of 17 814 crabs from commercial catch of thirteen locations, including four coastal lagoons, was estimated. The lagoons was El Barril, Madre, Morales and San Andrés., from Tamaulipas, State. Growth parameters were evaluated using indirect methods ELEFAN PROJMAT and SLCA in combination with the jackknife technique to establish the uncertainty of estimates inherent in each method. The growth parameters L ∞ and K were consolidated for purposes of comparison with the growth index phi prime (Φ '). The shell length interval varied between 60 and 205 mm. Estimates by jackknife detected no variability in Φ ' between locations and significant differences between methods. The ranges of values of Φ ' and PROJMAT estimated SLCA (4.70 to 4.71 and 4.66 to 4.70, respectively) were in the range reported in the literature ( 4.201 – 4.798), while lower values ELEFAN contributed significantly ( 3.87 to 4.27 ). The SLCA and PROJMAT methods in combination with the jackknife technique, proved to be the most suitable to estimate the growth parameters of C. sapidus.