Occurrence of northern stone crab (Lithodes maja) at southeast Greenland

Occurrence of northern stone crab (Lithodes maja) at southeast Greenland

A.K. Woll and A. Burmeister

Occurrence of northern stone crab (Lithodes maja) at southeast GreenlandThis is part of Crabs in Cold Water Regions: Biology, Management, and Economics
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Description

A joint Norwegian-Greenlandic trial pot fishery for northern stone crab (Lithodes maja) was conducted in the summer of 1995 and 1996. The objectives were to evaluate the occurrence of L. maja according to area, depth,and temperature. Catch rates, sex, and size distribution and fecundity of females were investigated to gain a better understanding of the resource potential. In 1995 the fishery was conducted on the continental shelf (62º-63ºN) and in Ammasalik Fjord (65ºN). A total of 763 crabs were caught. Catch rates for crabs of commercial size (more than 0.6 kg) were estimated (CPUEc) and were 0.23 kg per pot haul on average for all localities. Highest CPUEc was found on the continental slope on steep and rocky bottom and temperature about 4-5ºC (62ºN). In 1996 a trial fishery was conducted from the slope (62ºN) and westward to the Tingmiarmiut Fjord. A total of 1,134 crabs were caught and overall CPUEc was 0.81 kg per pot haul. Crabs more than 0.6 kg were processed and frozen onboard and used for market testing in restaurants in Norway, which concluded that the meat was of excellent quality, but a better price would be obtained for a live or fresh product. Males were bigger than females and 98.6% of the crabs more than 0.6 kg were males. Females caught were in the size range of 45-125 mm carapace length (CL) and a total of 51.9% of these had egg clutches. Mean egg diameter was 2.16 mm and fecundity was positively correlated to CL.

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