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




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


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.


Download data is not yet available.


Agnello R.J., Donnelley L.P. 1976. Externalities and property rights in the fisheries. Land Econ. 52: 518-529.

Anderson L.G. 2002. A comparison of the utilization of stocks with patchy distribution and migration under open access and marine reserves: An extended analysis. Mar. Resour. Econ. 17: 269-290.

Anderson L.G., Seijo J.C. 2010. Bioeconomics of fisheries management. Wiley-Blackwell, Ames, IA, USA, 305 pp.

Arceo-Brice-o P., Seijo J.C. 1991. Fishing effort analysis of the small-scale spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fleet of the Yucatan shelf. FAO Fisheries Report 431: 59-74.

Arce A.M., Aguilar W., Sosa E. 1997. Artificial shelters (casitas) as habitats for juvenile spiny lobsters Panulirus argus in the Mexican Caribbean. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 158: 217-224.

Arellano-Méndez L.U., Liceaga-Correa M., Herrera-Silveira J.A., et al. 2011. Impacto por huracanes en las praderas de Thalassia testudinum (Hydrocharitaceae) en el Caribe Mexicano. Rev. Biol. Trop. 59: 385-401. PMid:21516658

Bene C., Tewfik A. 2001. Fishing effort allocation and fishermen's decision making process in a multi-species small-scale fishery: Analysis of the conch and lobster fishery in Turks and Caicos Islands. Hum. Ecol. 29: 157-186.

Brickhill M.J., Lee S.Y., Connolly R.M. 2005. Fishes associated with artificial reefs: Attributing changes to attraction or production using novel approaches. J. Fish. Biol. 67: 53-71.

Briones-Fourzán P. 1994.Variability in postlarval recruitment of the spiny lobster, Panulirus argus (Latreille, 1804) in the Mexican Caribbean coast. Crustaceana 66: 326-340.

Briones-Fourzán P., Lozano-Álvarez E. 2001. Effects of artificial shelters (casitas) on the abundance and biomass of juvenile spiny lobsters Panulirus argus in a habitat-limited tropical reef lagoon. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 221: 221-232.

Briones-Fourzán P., Lozano-Álvarez E. 2013. Essential habitats for Panulirus spiny lobsters. In: Phillips B.F. (ed.) Lobsters: Biology, Management, Aquaculture and Fisheries, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Oxford, U.K., pp. 186-206.

Briones-Fourzán P., Lozano-Álvarez E., Eggleston D.B. 2000. The use of artificial shelters (casitas) in research and harvesting of Caribbean spiny lobsters in Mexico. In: Phillips B.F., Kittaka J. (eds) Spiny Lobsters: Fisheries and Culture (2nd edn). Fishing news Books, Oxford. pp. 420-446.

Briones-Fourzán P., Lozano-Álvarez E., Negrete-Soto F., et al. 2007. Enhancement of juvenile Caribbean spiny lobsters: an evaluation of changes in multiple response variables with the addition of large artificial shelters. Oecologia 151: 401-416. PMid:17180663

Bromley D. 2009. Abdicating responsibility: the deceits of fisheries policy. Fisheries 34: 280-290.

Butler M.J., MacDiarmid A.B., Booth J.D. 1999. The cause and consequence of ontogenetic changes in social aggregation in New Zealand spiny lobsters. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 188: 179-191.

Cabrera J.L., Defeo O. 2001. Daily bioeconomic analysis in a multispecific artisanal fishery in Yucatan, Mexico. Aquat. Living Resour. 14: 19-28.

Caddy J.F. 1975 Spatial model for an exploited shellfish population, and its application to the Georges Bank scallop fishery. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 32: 1305-1328.

Caddy J.F. 2008. The importance of "cover" in the life histories of demersal and benthic marine resources: a neglected issue in fisheries assessment and management. Bull. Mar. Sci. 83: 7-25.

Cancino J.P., Uchida H., Wilen J.E. 2007. TURFs and ITQs: collective vs. individual decision making. Mar. Resour. Econ. 22: 391-406.

Castrejón M., Defeo O. 2015. Co-governance of small-scale shellfisheries in Latin America: institutional adaptability to external drivers of change. In: Jentoft S., Chuenpagdee R. (eds) Interactive Governance for Small-Scale Fisheries Global Reflections. Springer International Publishing AG Switzerland, pp. 605-625.

Cesar-Dáchary A., Arnaiz-Burne S. 1989. Sian Ka'an. El hombre y su economía. Centro de Investigaciones de Quintana Roo (CIQRO). Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico. 140 pp.

Childress M.J., Herrnkind W.F. 2001. The behaviour of juvenile Caribbean spiny lobster in Florida Bay: Seasonality, ontogeny, and sociality. Bull. Mar. Sci. 54: 819-827.

Christy F.T. Jr. 1982 Territorial use rights in marine fisheries: definitions and conditions. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 227:10 pp.

Clark C.W. 2006. The worldwide crisis in fisheries: economic models and human behavior. Cambridge University Press. New York, 261 pp.

Cochran K. 1998. Fishery co-management the case of Punta Allen spiny lobster fishery No. 20940, 1998 Annual meeting, August 2-5, Salt Lake City, UT, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

Costello C., Polasky S. 2008. Optimal harvesting of stochastic spatial resources. J. Environ. Econ. Manage. 56: 1-18.

Cruz R., Phillips B. 2000. The artificial shelters (pesqueros) used for the spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fisheries in Cuba. In: Phillips B. F., Kittaka J. (eds) Spiny Lobsters: Fisheries and Culture, 2nd Edition. Fishing News Books, Blackwell Scientific Ltd., Oxford, U.K., pp. 400-419.

Cruz R., De Leon M.E., Puga R. 1995. Prediction of commercial catches of the spiny lobster Panulirus argus in the Gulf of Batabano, Cuba. Crustaceana 68: 238-244.

de la Torre R., Miller D.L. 1987. Update on the Mexican Caribbean's artificial habitat-based spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fishery: The evaluation of design, material and placement optimums. Proc. Gulf Caribb. Fish. Inst. 38: 582-589.

Eggleston D.B., Lipcius R.N. 1992. Shelter selection by spiny lobster under variable predation risk, social conditions, and shelter size. Ecology 73: 992-1011.

Ehrhardt N.M., Puga R., Butler M.J. 2010. Implications of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management in large ecosystems, the case of the Caribbean spiny lobster. In: Fanning L., Mahon R., McConney P. (eds) Towards Marine Ecosystem-Based Management in the Wider Caribbean. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam. pp. 157-175.

FAO. 1984. Papers presented at the Expert Consultation on the regulation of fishing effort (fishing mortality). Rome, 17-26 January 1983. A preparatory meeting for the FAO World Conference on fisheries management and development. FAO Fish. Rep. 289 Suppl. 2: 214 pp.

FAO. 2016. FishStatJ – Version 2.12.4 software for fi shery statistical time series.

Field J., Butler M.J. 1994. The influence of temperature, salinity, and postlarval transport on the distribution of juvenile spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus (Latreille, 1804), in Florida Bay. Crustaceana 67: 26-45.

Gardner C., Larkin S., Seijo J.C. 2013. Systems to maximize economic benefits from lobster fisheries. In: Phillips B. (ed) Lobsters: biology, management aquaculture and fisheries. 2nd ed. Wiley-Blackwell, West Sussex U.K., pp. 113-132.

Gillis D.M., Peterman R.M., Tyler A.V. 1993. Movement dynamics in a fishery: Application of the ideal free distribution to spatial allocation of effort. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 50: 323-333.

Gutzler B.C., Butler M.J., Behringer D.C. 2015. Casitas: a location-dependent ecological trap for juvenile Caribbean spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 72: i177-i184.

Herrnkind W.F., Cobb J.S. 2007. Artificial shelters for clawed and spiny lobsters: Critical review of enhancement efforts. Am. Fish. Soc. Symp. 49: 925-932.

Hilborn R., Walters C.J. 1987 A general model for simulation of stock and fleet dynamics in spatially heterogeneous fisheries. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 44: 1366-1369.

Hilborn R., Walters C.J. 1992. Quantitative fisheries stock assessment: choice, dynamics and uncertainty. Chapman and Hall, New York, 570 pp. PMid:9908045

Hilborn R., Orensanz J.M., Parma A.M. 2005. Institutions, incentives and the future of fisheries. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 360: 47-57. PMid:15744918 PMCid:PMC1636099

Kaffine D.T., Costello C. 2011. Unitization of spatially connected renewable resources. B.E. J. Econom. Anal. Policy. 11: 1-29.

Kough A.S., Paris C.B., Butler M.J. 2013. Larval connectivity and the international management of fisheries. PLoS ONE 8: e64970. PMid:23762273 PMCid:PMC3676408

Ley-Cooper K. 2016. Sustainability of lobster Panulirus argus fisheries in Marine Protected Areas in south-eastern Mexico. Ph.D. thesis, Curtin Univ. Australia, 310 pp.

Lozano-Álvarez E., Briones-Fourzán P., Phillips B.F. 1991. Fishery characteristics, growth, and movements of the spiny lobster Panulirus argus in Bahía de la Ascension, Mexico. Fish. Bull. 89: 79-89.

Lozano-Álvarez E., Briones-Fourzán P., Negrete-Soto F. 1993. Occurrence and seasonal variations of spiny lobsters (Panulirus argus) (Latreille) on the shelf outside Bahía de la Ascension, Mexico. U.S. Fish. Bull. 91: 808-815.

Lozano-Álvarez E., Briones-Fourzán P., Ramos-Aguilar M.E. 2003. Distribution, shelter fidelity, and movements of subadult spiny lobsters (Panulirus argus) in areas with artificial shelters (casitas). J. Shellfish R. 22: 533-540.

Miller D.L. 1982. Construction of shallow water habitats to increase lobster production in Mexico. Proc. Gulf Caribb. Fish. Inst. 34: 168-179.

Mintz J.D., Lipcius R.N., Eggleston D.B., et al. 1994. Survival of juvenile Caribbean spiny lobster: effects of shelter size, geographic location and conspecific abundance. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 112: 255-266.

MRAG Americas. 2015. Second Surveillance Audit Report for Sian Ka'an and Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserves Spiny Lobster Fishery 29-30 May 2015.

Orensanz J.M., Seijo J.C. 2013 Rights-based management in Latin American fisheries. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper, No. 582. Rome, FAO. 136 pp. PMCid:PMC3896161

Pet-Soede C., Van Densen W.L.T., Hiddink J.G., et al. 2001. Can fishermen allocate their fishing effort in space and time on the basis of their catch rates? An example from Spermonde Archipelago, SW Sulawesi, Indonesia. Fish. Manag. Ecol. 8: 15-36.

Ratchford S.G., Eggleston D.B. 1998. Size and scale dependent chemical attraction contribute to an ontogenetic shift in sociality. Animal Behaviour 56: 1027-1034. PMid:9790715

Salas S., Gaertner D. 2004. The behavioural dynamics of fishers: management implications. Fish. and Fish. 5: 153-167.

Schlager E., Ostrom E. 1992. Property-rights regimes and natural resources: a conceptual analysis. Land Econ. 68: 249-262.

Seijo J.C. 1993. Individual transferable grounds in a community managed artisanal fishery. Mar. Resour. Econ. 8: 78-81.

Seijo J.C. 2007. Considerations for management of metapopulations in small-scale fisheries of the Mesoamerican barrier reef ecosystem. Fish. Res. 87: 86-91.

Seijo J.C., Caddy J.F. 2008. Port location for inshore fleets affects the sustainability of coastal source-sink resources. Fish. Res. 91: 336-348.

Seijo J.C., Fuentes D. 1989. The spiny lobster fishery of Punta Allen, Mexico. In: Tietze U., Merikin P. (eds) Fisheries credit programmes and revolving loan funds: Case studies. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper, 312: 89-100. Rome, FAO. 125 pp.

Seijo J.C., Salas S., Arceo P., et al. 1991. Análisis bioeconómico comparativo de la pesquería de langosta Panulirus argus de la plataforma continental de Yucatán. FAO Fisheries Report, 431 (Suppl.): 39-58.

Seijo J.C., Caddy J.F., Euan J. 1994. SPATIAL: Space-time dynamics in marine fisheries-a bioeconomic software package for sedentary species. FAO Computerized Information Series (Fisheries). No. 6. Rome, FAO, 1993. 116 pp.

Seijo J.C., Defeo O., Salas S. 1998. Fisheries bioeconomics theory, modelling and management. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 368. Rome, FAO. 108 pp.

Smith V.L. 1969. On models of commercial fishing. J. Polit. Econ. 77: 181-198.

Solares-Leal I., Álvarez-Gil O. 2003. Socioeconomic assessment of Punta Allen: A tool for the management of a coastal community. Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. Comision Nacional de Areas Protegidas. SEMARNAT.

Sosa-Cordero E., Arce A.M., Aguilar-Dávila W., et al. 1998. Artificial shelters for spiny lobster Panulirus argus (Latreille): an evaluation of occupancy in different benthic habitats. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 229: 1-18.

Sosa-Cordero E., Ramírez-González A., Domínguez-Viveros M. 1999. La explotación de langosta Panulirus argus en Bahía Espíritu Santo, Quintana Roo, México: un estudio descriptivo. Proc. Gulf Caribb. Fish. Inst. 45: 820-839.

Sosa-Cordero E., Liceaga-Correa M.A., Seijo J.C. 2008. The Punta Allen lobster fishery: current status and recent trends. In: Townsend R., Shotton R., Uchida H. (eds) Case studies in fisheries self-governance, FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 504. Rome, FAO. pp. 149-162.

Statsoft Inc. 2016. STATISTICA (data analysis software system), version 12.0.

Vásquez-Yeomans L. 1990. Larvas de peces de Bahía de la Ascensión, Quintana Roo, México. In: Navarro D. Robinson J.G. (eds) Diversidad biológica de la reserva de la Biosfera de Sian Ka'an, Quintana Roo, Mexico (CIQRO/PSTC). pp. 321-330.

White C., Costello C. 2011. Matching spatial property rights fisheries with scales of fish dispersal. Ecol. Appl. 21: 350-362. PMid:21563568

Wilen J.E. 2004. Spatial Management of Fisheries. Mar. Resour. Econ. 19: 7-20.

Wilen J.E., Smith M.D., Lockwood D., et al. 2002. Avoiding surprises: Incorporating fisherman behaviour into management models. Bull. Mar. Sci. 70: 553-575.

Wilen J.E., Cancino J., Uchida H. 2012. The economics of territorial use rights fisheries, or TURFs. REEP 6: 237-257.

Zárate B.E. 1996. La pesquería de tiburones en la Bahía de la Ascensión, Quintana Roo, México (1993-1994), y su importancia como posible área de expulsión y crianza. PhD thesis, UNAM.

Zimmer-Faust R.K., Spanier E. 1987. Gregariousness and sociality in spiny lobsters: implications for den habitations. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 105: 57-71.



How to Cite

Headley M, Seijo JC, Hernández Álvaro, Cuevas Jiménez A, Villanueva Poot R. Spatiotemporal bioeconomic performance of artificial shelters in a small-scale, rights-based managed Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fishery. Sci. mar. [Internet]. 2017Mar.30 [cited 2024Feb.21];81(1):67-79. Available from: