Management and assessment options for the crab fishery around South Georgia
A new fishery for the lithodid crab, Paralomis spinosissima, started in Subarea 48.3 in 1992. The fishery is also new to CCAMLR, both in terms of the species and fishing gear. We provide an overview of the management options for crab fisheries in general and then consider these options in the context of this crab fishery with specific reference to the principles of the CCAMLR Convention. We outline the assessment methodologies and data requirements for the implementation of the various management options.
All the features of the fishery and the objectives of the Convention point to the need for a conservative approach to management. Such an approach includes the use of catch/effort controls in addition to the 'size-sex-season' controls. Implementation of both sets of controls relies on information on the growth and life-history of P. spinosissima. Implementation of the catch/effort controls also requires estimates of stock abundance, which could be obtained by depletion methods. Consideration should also be given to the creation of refuges, though careful attention must be given to their design. One of the main aims in designing a management plan is to allow the fishery to develop at a rate compatible with the expansion of the information base available for assessment.