Comparison of injuries to New Zealand rock lobsters (Jasus edwardsii) caused by hand versus snare collection
Powrie, W. & Tempero, G. W. (2009). Comparison of injuries to New Zealand rock lobsters (Jasus edwardsii) caused by hand versus snare collection. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 36(2), 83-87.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3770
Following the prohibition in New Zealand of lobster snares in late 2005, we undertook research to compare the frequency and extent of injuries to rock lobsters (Jasus edwardsii) (Hutton) caused by recreational SCUBA divers using lobster snares compared with hand collection. Rock lobsters were sampled between January 2006 and October 2006 from multiple dive sites around the North Island of New Zealand. Of the 124 rock lobsters caught, 20.9% were in a soft shell state. Female rock lobsters constituted 43.5% of the catch, but only one was carrying eggs. Female mean tail width was 72.2 mm; male mean tail width was 71.9 mm. We found that hand collection caused significantly more injuries than snare collection, to both soft shell and hard shell animals. Hand collection also resulted in more major injuries, with 18% of hard shell animals and 31% of soft shell animals losing two or more limbs. We recommend that the prohibition on the use of rock lobster snares be lifted, as their use appears to significantly reduce injury and stress to rock lobsters in recreational dive areas, and increase the survival of undersized individuals released after capture.
Royal Society of New Zealand
This article has been published in the journal: New Zealand Journal of Zoology. © The Royal Society of New Zealand. Used with permission.