Changes in egg production of the western rock lobster (Panulirus cygnus) associated with appendage damage


Melville-Smith, Roy, and Simon de Lestang
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Data collected during fishery-independent sampling programs were used to examine the impact of appendage damage (indicated by lost or regenerated legs and antennae) on the reproductive output of female western rock lobster (Panulirus cygnus). Most of the damaged females sampled had one (53%), two (27%), or three (13%) appendages that had been lost or that were regenerating. Appendage damage was associated with the reduced probability of a female developing ovigerous setae; and if setae were produced, with the reduced probability that females would produce more than one batch of eggs within a season. These effects were more pronounced as the number of damaged appendages increased. From data collected in 2002, it was estimated that the total number of eggs produced by mature females caught in the fishery was significantly reduced (P<0.001) by 3–9% when the impact of appendage damage was included.