Journal Article

Biology and abundance of <i>Cancer bellianus</i> (Decapoda, Brachyura) around the Azores

M. R. Pinho, J. M. Gonçalves and H. R. Martins

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 58, issue 4, pages 896-903
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jmsc.2001.1079
Biology and abundance of Cancer bellianus (Decapoda, Brachyura) around the Azores

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During 1997, exploratory cruises were conducted to study deep-water crabs south of Pico and São Jorge islands in the Azores archipelago. Baited traps were set at depths of 200–1000 m. The target species were the crabs Chaceon affinis and Cancer bellianus. The latter was the prevalent species shallower than 700 m, a total of 462 (247 males and 215 females) being caught at depths ranging from 200–700 m on rocky substrata. The catch rate of females was higher in shallow water (200–400 m) and that of males higher in deeper water (400–600 m). Sizes ranged from 45–218 mm carapace width (CW). Ovigerous females were not found, and possible reasons for this are advanced. An annual reproductive cycle is outlined. Size at first maturity was not estimated directly, but the observed minimum carapace width of females with spermatophores on their pleopods (132 mm) is suggested as the size of first maturity. Epizoitic barnacles were observed on the exoskeleton of some animals.

Keywords: biology; Cancer bellianus; deep-sea crab; exploratory fishing

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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