Palinurus delagoae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Palinuridae

Scientific Name: Palinurus delagoae Barnard, 1926
Common Name(s):
English Natal Spiny Lobster
Palinurus gilchristi ssp. delagoae Barnard, 1926

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor(s): Cockcroft, A., MacDiarmid, A. & Butler, M.
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.
Palinurus delagoae has been assessed as Least Concern. This is a very deep living species on the east coast of southern Africa and southwest Madagascar. This species is subject to limited harvest in parts of its range. Catch per unit effort data is only available for the period 1993 - 1997 and indicates some significant declines in the catch resulting in the closure of the Mozambique trap fishery in 2000. The main threat of the fishery is now removed, although there is still some by-catch, but not thought to be causing declines; therefore this species is not threatened with extinction.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from Mozambique to Natal in South Africa, including Madagascar (Holthuis 1991).
Countries occurrence:
Madagascar; Mozambique; South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):600
Upper depth limit (metres):100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species has been directly targeted by commercial fisheries. It was taken by a trap fishery in Mozambique, and two separate multi-species trawl fisheries in South Africa and Mozambique (Groeneveld 2000). There is a lack of catch data and biological data for this species, making it difficult to assess the status of the population. In South Africa the fishery which first began in the 1920s, has since shown a significant decline in the landings (Groeneveld and Cockcroft 1997) and so has since diversified to catch other species (Groeneveld and Melville-Smith 1995). In Mozambique the fishery didn't start until the 1980s; landings peaked at 300 tonnes then declined sharply until it was no longer economically viable to continue the fishery. It was then abandoned in 2000 (Groeneveld et al. 2005).

The FAO reports landings data for this species, however there is no account for fishing effort. Groeneveld (2000) reports catch per unit effort (CPUE) for the trawl fishery in South Africa for the period 1993 to 1997: 1993 - 2.71 kg/h-1; 1994 - 1.60 kg/h-1; 1995 - 1.30 kg/h-1; 1996 - 1.02 kg/h-1; 1997 - 1.06 kg/h-1. Landings and CPUE data for the trap fishery in South Africa is as follows: 1994 - 89 tonnes/ 0.606 kg/trap; 1995 - 50 tonnes/ 0.634 kg/trap; 1996 - 30.9 tonnes/ 0.297 kg/trap; 1997 - 7.4 tonnes/ 0.159 kg/trap. There is an apparent significant decline in catch between 1993 and 1994, however without a greater time series, it is difficult to interpret this as a long term trend. Results from this study also indicate that a maximum sustainable yield of 60 tonnes a year for both the trap and trawl fishery would have been realistic; landings in 1994 and 1995 exceeded this limit which may account for the apparent decline in catch during this period.


Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found on muddy and sandy substrates, as well as coral fragments and rocky substrates (Holthuis 1991). It is found at a depth range of 100 - 600 m but is more often found between 100 - 350 m (Groeneveld 2000).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species has been harvested in the past when it was targeted by a commercial fishery.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats impacting this species as the fishery for this species is now closed. It is occasionally still captured as by-catch.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The fisheries are now closed for this species in Mozambique while there is limited by-catch from a small multi-species trawl fishery in South Africa.

Citation: Cockcroft, A., MacDiarmid, A. & Butler, M. 2011. Palinurus delagoae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T170010A6705694. . Downloaded on 28 May 2018.
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