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Metanephrops mozambicus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA MALACOSTRACA DECAPODA NEPHROPIDAE

Scientific Name: Metanephrops mozambicus
Species Authority: Macpherson, 1990
Common Name(s):
English African Lobster
Synonym(s):
Metanephrops andamanicus Jenkins, 1972
Taxonomic Notes: This species was known as M. andamanicus prior to 1990.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor(s): Wahle, R., Cockcroft, A., MacDiarmid, A., Butler, M. & Chan, T.Y.
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 mozambicus has been assessed as Least Concern. Although it is impacted upon by commercial fisheries within its wide distribution, this is not believed to be significantly impacting the global population at the present time as recent data suggests the population is stable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from the Mozambique Channel: north from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa to Mozambique, Madagascar (Chan and Yu 1991),and as far north as Tanzania (A. Cockcroft pers. comm. 2009).
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar; Mozambique; South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – western
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no direct population information for this species, although Chan and Yu (1991) reported that populations were abundant and not affected by commercial trawling. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) increased during the 1990s, suggesting it was recovering from harvesting, and catch volume has remained stable for over a decade in the Indian Ocean (FAO).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs at depths ranging from 200-750 m, although it is most common between 400-500 m (Holthuis 1991). It is typically found on soft, muddy bottoms (Holthuis 1991, MacPherson 1990). Females are ovigerous between December and June (Holthuis 1991).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested commercially as part of a multi-species fishery off the east coast of South Africa and Mozambique, using specially designed "balloon ballerina" trawl nets to dig them out of the mud (Holthuis 1991). Despite large catches, the largest of any congeneric species (Chan and Yu 1991), stocks were allegedly unaffected. Reported volumes (in tonnes) from the FAO (under the name M. andamanicus until 1988) in Indian Ocean waters were:

1975 - 64; 1976 - 106; 1977 - 239; 1979 - 1,135; 1980 - 286; 1987 - 270; 1988 - 298; 1995 - 179; 1996 - 132; 1997 - 156; 1998 - 192; 1999 - 152; 2000 - 180; 2001 - 141; 2002 - 135; 2003 - 124; 2004 - 132; 2005 - 149; 2006 - 94; 2007 - 153

Fennessy and Groeneveld (1997) reported an increase in catch per unit effort (CPUE) for "langoustine" (two species of scampi, the most common of which was this species) in the South African east coast crustacean trawl fishery from 1988 to 1993. This was attributed to a shift in effort from deeper (400-500 m) to shallower (200-400 m) waters, triggered by the decline in deep-water prawn (Fennessy and Groeneveld 1997). This was also reported in Mozambique, which has a larger catch of langoustine than South Africa (Groeneveld and Melville-Smith 1995).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The deep-water trawl fishery in South Africa is relatively small in scale, and effort has fluctuated over the last two decades (a decline in effort in the early 1990s due to logistical problems, followed by an increase in effort after 1995 when more vessels entered the fishery) (Fennessy and Groeneveld 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Further research is required to determine the abundance of this species, and to what extent it is impacted upon by threats within its range.

Citation: Wahle, R., Cockcroft, A., MacDiarmid, A., Butler, M. & Chan, T.Y. 2013. Metanephrops mozambicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 July 2014.
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