Reproductive traits and factors affecting the size at maturity of Cancer pagurus across Northern Europe

Jodie A. Haig, Snorre Bakke, Michael C. Bell, Isobel S. M. Bloor, Mike Cohen, Matthew Coleman, Samuel Dignan, Michel J. Kaiser, Julia R. Pantin, Michael Roach, Harriet Salomonsen, Oliver Tully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this article, we undertake the first broad-scale, cross-institutional collaboration to collect data on the size at maturity and reproductive strategy of the commercially fished decapod crab species, Cancer pagurus. Using identical methodology and temporal sampling, morphometric and physiological estimates of size at maturity were undertaken using 1806 crabs sampled from populations in the seas off Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales, England, and Norway. Additionally body condition, prevalence of external parasites, black spot disease, and the hepatosomatic index (HSI, hepatopancreas weight as a percentage of total tissue weight), and gonadosomatic index (GSI, gonad weight as a percentage of total tissue weight) were estimated for some populations. C. pagurus appears to use a “capitalist” reproductive strategy, relying on previously accumulated energy to use through the reproductive season. Crabs displaying black spot disease had significantly lower HSI values, taking into account that HSI decreases with each progressive reproductive stage. Male crabs with poor body condition and black spot disease displayed greater GSI values. Though this pattern was regionally variable, it indicates that, in some cases, physical stress may induce greater investment into reproductive resources. Based on the carapace width (CW) at which 50% of the sampled population was physiologically mature (CW50), estimates of size at first maturity varied between sampled populations in the range 97–117 mm CW in females and 59–106 mm CW in males. The CW50 estimates reported here are smaller than previously reported values for C. pagurus populations. However, the variety of laboratory and statistical methodologies used in published studies prevent absolute comparisons with our results. We discuss the benefits of developing a standardized methodology for size at maturity research and the need for greater collaboration in fisheries research to achieve goals set under the European Union’s Data Collection Framework for this species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2572-2585
Number of pages14
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Volume73
Issue number10
Early online date18 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Fingerprint

Cancer pagurus
Northern European region
reproductive traits
crabs
tissue weight
body condition
Isle of Man
hepatosomatic index
gonadosomatic index
hepatopancreas
Wales
Ireland
European Union
Decapoda
Scotland
Norway
England
gonads
breeding season
methodology

Keywords

  • collaborative science
  • reproductive strategy
  • minimum landing size
  • legal size
  • hepatosomatic condition
  • gonadosomatic index
  • Decapoda
  • commercial crustacean fisheries

Cite this

Haig, Jodie A. ; Bakke, Snorre ; Bell, Michael C. ; Bloor, Isobel S. M. ; Cohen, Mike ; Coleman, Matthew ; Dignan, Samuel ; Kaiser, Michel J. ; Pantin, Julia R. ; Roach, Michael ; Salomonsen, Harriet ; Tully, Oliver. / Reproductive traits and factors affecting the size at maturity of Cancer pagurus across Northern Europe. In: ICES Journal of Marine Science. 2016 ; Vol. 73, No. 10. pp. 2572-2585.
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abstract = "In this article, we undertake the first broad-scale, cross-institutional collaboration to collect data on the size at maturity and reproductive strategy of the commercially fished decapod crab species, Cancer pagurus. Using identical methodology and temporal sampling, morphometric and physiological estimates of size at maturity were undertaken using 1806 crabs sampled from populations in the seas off Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales, England, and Norway. Additionally body condition, prevalence of external parasites, black spot disease, and the hepatosomatic index (HSI, hepatopancreas weight as a percentage of total tissue weight), and gonadosomatic index (GSI, gonad weight as a percentage of total tissue weight) were estimated for some populations. C. pagurus appears to use a “capitalist” reproductive strategy, relying on previously accumulated energy to use through the reproductive season. Crabs displaying black spot disease had significantly lower HSI values, taking into account that HSI decreases with each progressive reproductive stage. Male crabs with poor body condition and black spot disease displayed greater GSI values. Though this pattern was regionally variable, it indicates that, in some cases, physical stress may induce greater investment into reproductive resources. Based on the carapace width (CW) at which 50{\%} of the sampled population was physiologically mature (CW50), estimates of size at first maturity varied between sampled populations in the range 97–117 mm CW in females and 59–106 mm CW in males. The CW50 estimates reported here are smaller than previously reported values for C. pagurus populations. However, the variety of laboratory and statistical methodologies used in published studies prevent absolute comparisons with our results. We discuss the benefits of developing a standardized methodology for size at maturity research and the need for greater collaboration in fisheries research to achieve goals set under the European Union’s Data Collection Framework for this species.",
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Haig, JA, Bakke, S, Bell, MC, Bloor, ISM, Cohen, M, Coleman, M, Dignan, S, Kaiser, MJ, Pantin, JR, Roach, M, Salomonsen, H & Tully, O 2016, 'Reproductive traits and factors affecting the size at maturity of Cancer pagurus across Northern Europe', ICES Journal of Marine Science, vol. 73, no. 10, pp. 2572-2585. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsw081

Reproductive traits and factors affecting the size at maturity of Cancer pagurus across Northern Europe. / Haig, Jodie A.; Bakke, Snorre; Bell, Michael C.; Bloor, Isobel S. M.; Cohen, Mike; Coleman, Matthew; Dignan, Samuel; Kaiser, Michel J.; Pantin, Julia R.; Roach, Michael; Salomonsen, Harriet; Tully, Oliver.

In: ICES Journal of Marine Science, Vol. 73, No. 10, 11.2016, p. 2572-2585.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Reproductive traits and factors affecting the size at maturity of Cancer pagurus across Northern Europe

AU - Haig, Jodie A.

AU - Bakke, Snorre

AU - Bell, Michael C.

AU - Bloor, Isobel S. M.

AU - Cohen, Mike

AU - Coleman, Matthew

AU - Dignan, Samuel

AU - Kaiser, Michel J.

AU - Pantin, Julia R.

AU - Roach, Michael

AU - Salomonsen, Harriet

AU - Tully, Oliver

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N2 - In this article, we undertake the first broad-scale, cross-institutional collaboration to collect data on the size at maturity and reproductive strategy of the commercially fished decapod crab species, Cancer pagurus. Using identical methodology and temporal sampling, morphometric and physiological estimates of size at maturity were undertaken using 1806 crabs sampled from populations in the seas off Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales, England, and Norway. Additionally body condition, prevalence of external parasites, black spot disease, and the hepatosomatic index (HSI, hepatopancreas weight as a percentage of total tissue weight), and gonadosomatic index (GSI, gonad weight as a percentage of total tissue weight) were estimated for some populations. C. pagurus appears to use a “capitalist” reproductive strategy, relying on previously accumulated energy to use through the reproductive season. Crabs displaying black spot disease had significantly lower HSI values, taking into account that HSI decreases with each progressive reproductive stage. Male crabs with poor body condition and black spot disease displayed greater GSI values. Though this pattern was regionally variable, it indicates that, in some cases, physical stress may induce greater investment into reproductive resources. Based on the carapace width (CW) at which 50% of the sampled population was physiologically mature (CW50), estimates of size at first maturity varied between sampled populations in the range 97–117 mm CW in females and 59–106 mm CW in males. The CW50 estimates reported here are smaller than previously reported values for C. pagurus populations. However, the variety of laboratory and statistical methodologies used in published studies prevent absolute comparisons with our results. We discuss the benefits of developing a standardized methodology for size at maturity research and the need for greater collaboration in fisheries research to achieve goals set under the European Union’s Data Collection Framework for this species.

AB - In this article, we undertake the first broad-scale, cross-institutional collaboration to collect data on the size at maturity and reproductive strategy of the commercially fished decapod crab species, Cancer pagurus. Using identical methodology and temporal sampling, morphometric and physiological estimates of size at maturity were undertaken using 1806 crabs sampled from populations in the seas off Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales, England, and Norway. Additionally body condition, prevalence of external parasites, black spot disease, and the hepatosomatic index (HSI, hepatopancreas weight as a percentage of total tissue weight), and gonadosomatic index (GSI, gonad weight as a percentage of total tissue weight) were estimated for some populations. C. pagurus appears to use a “capitalist” reproductive strategy, relying on previously accumulated energy to use through the reproductive season. Crabs displaying black spot disease had significantly lower HSI values, taking into account that HSI decreases with each progressive reproductive stage. Male crabs with poor body condition and black spot disease displayed greater GSI values. Though this pattern was regionally variable, it indicates that, in some cases, physical stress may induce greater investment into reproductive resources. Based on the carapace width (CW) at which 50% of the sampled population was physiologically mature (CW50), estimates of size at first maturity varied between sampled populations in the range 97–117 mm CW in females and 59–106 mm CW in males. The CW50 estimates reported here are smaller than previously reported values for C. pagurus populations. However, the variety of laboratory and statistical methodologies used in published studies prevent absolute comparisons with our results. We discuss the benefits of developing a standardized methodology for size at maturity research and the need for greater collaboration in fisheries research to achieve goals set under the European Union’s Data Collection Framework for this species.

KW - collaborative science

KW - reproductive strategy

KW - minimum landing size

KW - legal size

KW - hepatosomatic condition

KW - gonadosomatic index

KW - Decapoda

KW - commercial crustacean fisheries

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DO - 10.1093/icesjms/fsw081

M3 - Article

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JO - ICES Journal of Marine Science

JF - ICES Journal of Marine Science

SN - 1054-3139

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