Palinurus mauritanicus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Palinuridae

Scientific Name: Palinurus mauritanicus Gruvel, 1911
Common Name(s):
English Pink Spiny Lobster
Palinurus vulgaris ssp. mauritanicus Gruvel, 1911

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor(s): Cockcroft, A., Butler, M. & MacDiarmid, A.
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.
Panulirus mauritanicus has been assessed as Least Concern.  This is a common species and lives in deeper waters. This species has suffered serious declines, but populations have shown the ability to rebuild when fishing pressure is reduced. Fishing pressure is currently at a reduced level, and this species is mainly caught as by-catch and therefore is not threatened with extinction from over-exploitation.  A management strategy for this species needs to be developed and enforced to maintain or rebuild the population to a sustainable level, as well as monitoring of CPUE data to interpret future trends. 



Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from the Eastern Atlantic: Its range extends from west coast Ireland, south to southern Senegal. It is also known from the Mediterranean (to the west of Sicily at about 16oE), but not the Adriatic (Holthuis 1991).
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Ireland; Italy (Sicilia); Mauritania; Morocco; Portugal; Senegal; Spain; Tunisia; United Kingdom; Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):600
Upper depth limit (metres):180
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is a common species. This species has suffered serious declines in the past, but has shown the ability to rebuild when fishing pressure is reduced.

This species is commercially harvested for food throughout much of its range. Exploitation began in the 1950s off the coast of northwest Africa; by the 1960s 40 boats were harvesting the lobsters using a mix of baited traps and bottom trawls (Maigret 1978).

In 1961, the French landings are said to have peaked at 3,600 tonnes, but quickly fell to a catch of 200 tonnes in 1970. Fishing effort was then significantly reduced, which followed with an increase in landings to 900 tonnes in 1986. In 1987, the Portugese fishing fleet was granted lobster netting rights by the European Commission; this led to an increase in poaching and the fishery collapsed once again. In 1990 the French stopped harvesting this fishery (Goñi and Latrouite 2005). Today, this species is mostly taken as by-catch of the demersal fish fisheries off Mauritania (Goñi and Latrouite 2005). This species is still targeted in the Bay of Biscay, but it has not proved economically viable as a sustained fishery owing to rapid declines in catch and few good fishing grounds (Goñi and Latrouite 2005). The situation is much the same in the Mediterranean where it is most often taken as by-catch; high yields are also followed by crashes in the landings (Goñi and Latrouite 2005).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species can be found within the continental shelf, especially within canyons, on rocky reefs and muddy substrates at a depth range of 180 to 600 m, though it is most commonly found between 200 - 400 m (Postel 1966, Holthuis 1991). It feeds on molluscs, dead fish, crustaceans, polychaetes and echinoderms (Maigret 1978).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species was commercially harvested throughout its range, however following frequent crashes in the population most commercial harvesting has ceased and this species is mostly only caught as by-catch (Goñi and Latrouite 2005).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Considering past population crashes due to harvesting this species may be threatened by over-exploitation again in the future.  However information suggests harvesting has now dropped to levels that do not impact the global population (Goñi and Latrouite 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Management strategies for this species need to be developed and enforced to maintain or rebuild the population to a sustainable level. It is recommended that accurate fisheries data be collected and monitoring of CPUE to create a baseline of data to measure trends into the future.

Citation: Cockcroft, A., Butler, M. & MacDiarmid, A. 2011. Palinurus mauritanicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T170035A6715683. . Downloaded on 24 April 2018.
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