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Metanephrops andamanicus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA MALACOSTRACA DECAPODA NEPHROPIDAE

Scientific Name: Metanephrops andamanicus
Species Authority: (Wood-Mason, 1891)
Common Name(s):
English Andaman Lobster
Synonym(s):
Nephrops andamanicus Wood-Mason, 1891
Nephrops thomsoni subspecies andamanicus Alcock, 1901

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor(s): Butler, M., Chan, T.Y., Cockcroft, A., MacDiarmid, A. & Wahle, R.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Livingstone, S. & Richman, N.
Contributor(s): Batchelor, A., De Silva, R., Dyer, E., Kasthala, G., Lutz, M.L., McGuinness, S., Milligan, H.T., Soulsby, A.-M. & Whitton, F.
Justification:
Metanephrops andamanicus has been assessed as Least Concern. This species is fished for, both on a subsistence level and commercially, and there is evidence that stocks have been depleted within part of its range. However, this is not believed to being having an impact on the global population, which is broadly distributed throughout the Indian Oceana and central western Pacific.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from the Indo-West Pacific region: East Africa (Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya and Somalia), the Andaman Sea, the South China Sea (not including the Philippines), and Indonesia (Holthuis 1991, Tshudy et al. 2007).

Several older records have been since disputed on taxonomic grounds; for example, specimens from Australian and Philippines are likely a different species (Metanephrops velutinus), as are those from southern Africa and the Mozambique channel (M. mozambicus) (Chan and Yu 1991, Tshudy et al. 2007, Chan 1997). A recent molecular analysis of the entire genus upheld the separate classification of these three closely related species (Chan et al. 2009).
Countries:
Native:
Brunei Darussalam; China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan); Hong Kong; India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Indonesia (Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sumatera); Kenya; Macao; Malaysia; Myanmar (Coco Is., Myanmar (mainland)); Singapore; Somalia; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Viet Nam
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: According to Chan and Yu (1991) this species is actually quite poorly known. This is because most of the previous records, including commercially-caught specimens, belong to different species. It was caught in small quantities off the northeast coast of Somalia (Van Zalinge 1988) and Kenya (de Sousa 1988), and more regularly in southern Zanzibar at depths of 205-300 m (Jiddawi and Pandu 1988). Its highest abundance was thought to be in the South China Sea (Carpenter and Niem 1998), though this is now severely depleted due to fishing pressure (T.Y. Chan pers. comm. 2009).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species ranges from 250-750 m in depth, but is mostly found between 300-450 m (Holthuis 1991). Its substrate is hard mud, and it "possibly lives in burrows" according to Holthuis (1991).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is fished both at a subsistence level, and at a commercial level (T.Y. Chan pers. comm. 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species was mentioned as "a potential fishery resource off Hong Kong" (Longhurst 1970). Holthuis (1991) thought this was likely to be true in other parts of its range. This was due to its size and habitat, on trawlable seabeds, and it was described as "the only species [of lobster] of some commercial importance at this time in the Western Indian Ocean" (Fischer and Bianchi 1984). It was caught in small numbers by trawling off the coast of Somalia (Van Zalinge 1988), and in greater numbers at the southern end of the Zanzibar channel where it is not exploited (Jiddawi and Pandu 1988). Attempts in Kenya to develop offshore trawling were unsuccessful (de Sousa 1988). Chan and Yu (1991) supposed that due to its large size, commercial trawling of this species may be viable; however, it is unknown how widely this has been taken on since then.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species.

Citation: Butler, M., Chan, T.Y., Cockcroft, A., MacDiarmid, A. & Wahle, R. 2013. Metanephrops andamanicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 September 2014.
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