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Estimating Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) abundance: Crab pots and dive transects compared

Fishery Bulletin

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Abstract

Dungeness crabs (Cancer magister) were sampled with commercial pots and counted by scuba divers on benthic transects at eight sites near Glacier Bay, Alaska. Catch per unit of effort (CPUE) from pots was compared to the density estimates from dives to evaluate the bias and power of the two techniques. Yearly sampling was conducted in two seasons: April and September, from 1992 to 2000. Male CPUE estimates from pots were significantly lower in April than in the following September; a step-wise regression demonstrated that season accounted for more of the variation in male CPUE than did temperature. In both April and September, pot sampling was significantly biased against females. When females were categorized as ovigerous and nonovigerous, it was clear that ovigerous females accounted for the majority of the bias because pots were not biased against nonovigerous females. We compared the power of pots and dive transects in detecting trends in populations and found that pots had much higher power than dive transects. Despite their low power, the dive transects were very useful for detecting bias in our pot sampling and in identifying the optimal times of year to sample so that pot bias could be avoided.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Estimating Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) abundance: Crab pots and dive transects compared
Series title:
Fishery Bulletin
Volume:
102
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Publisher:
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Contributing office(s):
Alaska Science Center
Description:
10 p.
First page:
488
Last page:
497
Country:
United States
State:
Alaska
Other Geospatial:
Glacier Bay