Original Articles

Fishery characteristics and abundance estimates of the mangrove crab Scylla serrata in southern Tanzania and northern Moçambique


Abstract

The mud crab Scylla serrata is lightly exploited along the East African seaboard. This study reports on fishing practices and gives preliminary estimates of abundance and size structures of the mud crab populations in Utende, Chole Island and Juani Island, Tanzania, and west of Quirimba and Ibo Island, Moçambique. Estimates for three mangrove habitats (in Tanzania); open channel (<1 per 25 m2), mangrove fringe (3 per 25 m2) and inner forest (1 per 25 m2) were obtained using burrow density and from burrow occupancy from fisheries data. Mud crabs from Tanzania were significantly smaller (carapace width) and less abundant (in terms of mass) than those from Moçambique. This newly exploited resource provides a potential alternative source of income, but local management and monitoring plans need to be implemented early.

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