Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 44 Issue 1&2

Fishery of the blue swimming crab, Portunus pelagicus (Linn.) in Gujarat

Joe K. Kizhakudan

The blue swimming crab, Portunus pelagiclis, a hitherto insignificant commodity in the marine fishery of Gujarat, has suddenly gained importance as a high value export item. The promotion of targeted fishery for this crab, by trawl nets and gill nets, especially in the Gulf of Kutch region has resulted in large-scale exploitation of the same since 1997. Peak landings from trawl grounds off the Gulf of Kutch are in March-May while gill net landings are maximum in June - September. The total landing of P. pelagicus in the Gulf of Kutch region was about 550 tonnes in the year 2001. Small-scale fishery for this crab exists in the creeks of Patanbara and Vanakbara in Peninsular Saurashtra. The mean size of the samples from landings at Jakhau in the Gulf of Kutch was 141.3 mm (males) and 141.77mm (females). The mean size at Patanbara was 64.25 mm (males) and 63.67 mm (females) and at Vanakbara, it was 33.59mm (males) and 35.33mm (females). Adult and breeding stages were encountered in the landings at Jakhau during March-May. Gut content analysis of the samples from Patanbara (56 - 75 mm CL) showed poor feeding rate, with a pre-dominance of molluscan shell remains in detritus. The Vanakbara samples (16 - 60 mm CL) showed better feeding rates, with more of fish remains in their gut contents.

Date : 30-12-2002