Scientia Marina, Vol 81, No 1 (2017)

Spatiotemporal bioeconomic performance of artificial shelters in a small-scale, rights-based managed Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fishery

Maren Headley
Universidad Marista de Mérida , Mexico

Juan Carlos Seijo
Universidad Marista de Mérida , Mexico

Álvaro Hernández
Universidad Marista de Mérida , Mexico

Alfonso Cuevas Jiménez
Universidad Marista de Mérida , Mexico

Raúl Villanueva Poot
Universidad Marista de Mérida , Mexico


This study presents a bioeconomic analysis of artificial shelter performance in a fishery targeting a spiny lobster meta-population, with spatially allocated, individual exclusive benthic property rights for shelter introduction and harvest of species. Insights into fishers’ short-run decisions and fishing strategies are also provided. Spatiotemporal bioeconomic performance of shelters located in ten fishing areas during four seasons was compared using two-way ANOVAs and Pearson correlations. Results show that there was spatiotemporal heterogeneity in bioeconomic variables among fishing areas, with mean catch per unit effort (CPUE, kg shelter–1) ranging from 0.42 kg to 1.3 kg per trip, mean quasi-profits of variable costs per shelter harvested ranging from USD6.00 to USD19.57 per trip, and mean quasi-profits of variable costs ranging from USD338 to USD1069 per trip. Positive moderate correlations between shelter density and CPUE (kg shelter–1 km–2) were found. Bioeconomic performance of the shelters was influenced by spatiotemporal resource abundance and distribution, fishing area location in relation to the port, shelter density, heterogeneous fishing strategies and the management system. The results provide empirical information on the spatiotemporal performance of shelters and fishing strategies and can contribute to management at the local-scale of a meta-population distributed throughout the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.


spiny lobster; artificial shelters; quasi-profits; rights-based fishery management; individual transferable fishing grounds; small-scale fishery

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