An Assessment of the Spiny Lobster Panulirus homarus Fishery in Oman — Another Decline in the Western Indian Ocean?

A Marzouqi, A Al-Nahdi, N Jayabalan, J.C Groeneveld
2009 Western Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science  
The scalloped spiny lobster Panulirus homarus supports numerous traditional diving, trap and trammel net fisheries in the Western Indian Ocean. Commercial catches made in 2003 to 2005 in the Arabian Sea region of Oman (a coastline of ~1100 km, comprising Dhofar and Al-Wusta) were sampled for length and sex composition, and female reproductive condition. On average, lobsters caught in Dhofar were larger than in Al-Wusta, and length-based estimates of growth parameters, size at maturity and
more » ... maturity and natural mortality were consistent with fast-growing tropical lobsters. Compared to historical data from Oman dating from the late-1980's (with peak catches of >2000 t/yr) and mid-1990's, recent landings, average lobster size and size at maturity were considerably lower. A length-based cohort analysis suggested that fishing mortality does not impact on lobsters <60 mm carapace length, but that it has depleted those >80 mm. The spawning biomass ratio (B sp /B) of <25% is sensitive to increases in fishing mortality. Existing regulations are not regularly enforced, and the situation in Oman appears to be typical of lobster fisheries in the northwestern Indian Ocean, where few well-founded management plans exist and several declines in catches have been reported.
doi:10.4314/wiojms.v6i2.48235 fatcat:mvhglw47yvgcjkhuawyrxl7bbi