Volume 60

Applying local knowledge analysis to deploy artificial shelters for a lobster fishery enhancement program

Zapata-Araujo, C., Salas, S.and M. Cabrera.
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Date: November, 2007

Pages: 209-220

Event: Proceedings of the Sixtieth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) sustains an important fishery in several ports of the Yucatan coast, where introduction of artificial shelters to enhance lobster catches has been promoted through several government programs in the region without significant success until now. An approach that combines local knowledge with technical scientific knowledge was carried out as part of a project aiming to introduce artificial shelters (“casitas”) for selective lobster fishing in the area. The project aimed to generate information to identify proper grounds to deploy the shelters in order to improve the odds for success. A total of 128 interviews were conducted at four ports of the Yucatan peninsula to address the following issues: shelter placement, refuge productivity and management within the areas. In addition, information gathered from bibliographic sources was collected. Results show consistency among the fishermen in all ports regarding the bottom features required for the deployment of the structures; this was also consistent with literature. However, we found that different approaches are followed concerning management among the areas and productivity from the shelters reported in each case. Differences were attributed to geographical differences where shelters have been placed, which in turn define fishing operations. The level of organization of the fishing groups also defines the management strategies implemented in each place. An integral management scheme has been suggested for the introduction of artificial habitats for lobster in Yucatan considering the bio-geographical characteristics of the area and the results of this study

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