Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 31, 2018
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||15 February 2018|
Assessing abundance and catch selectivity of Octopus cyanea by the artisanal fishery in Lakshadweep islands, India
Department of Zoology, The Institute of Science,
15 Madame Cama Road,
2 Wildlife Institute of India, Chandrabani, Dehradun 248001, Uttarakhand, India
3 Bombay Natural History Society, Hornbill House, Mumbai, India
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Handling Editor: Flavia Lucena Fredou
Accepted: 18 December 2017
Subsistence fishery for cephalopods contributes significantly to the local economy of several Asian, African and island states. In addition to being unregulated and undocumented, recent studies indicate that low-scale fisheries can have detrimental effects on marine ecosystems. In the Lakshadweep islands, men, women and children have been involved in spear fishing for octopus for a long time, but there is a paucity of information on the biology and fishery of the octopus species in Indian waters. In this study, we estimated the population abundance, morphometry and sex ratio of Octopus cyanea. Moreover, we examined whether the current octopus spear fishing activity displayed size or sex selectivity, given that larger individuals are easier to spot and brooding females spend more time in crevices. O. cyanea surveys were conducted by snorkeling in the lagoons of Kavaratti and Agatti islands between November 2008 and April 2012. The estimated mean density of O. cyanea was 3 and 2.5 individuals per hectare in Agatti and Kavaratti, respectively. Individual mean weight was 923.36 g and 846.26 g in Agatti and Kavaratti and the male:female sex ratio 1.35:1 and 3.8:1, respectively. Comparison between visual counts and fisheries landings indicated that fishing effort was concentrated in areas of high juvenile abundance but without female-bias. Constructing a long-term database of fishery catches will help with stock assessment and understanding the factors that influence octopus populations. Implementation of a lower size limit of 500 g would act as a precautionary measure against catching very small octopuses.
Key words: Cephalopods / Octopus cyanea / artisanal fishery / selectivity / Lakshadweep / India
© EDP Sciences 2018
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