to the long
month) pelagic larval stage.
the phyllosoma larvae
pueruli to Virgin
each source's contribution
to the stocks,
time the larvae spend in the plankton. the growth rates
the conditions relating to their movement to inshore waters are still unknown.
the entrance to lhe Mangrove Lagoon estuary had the highest CPUE, theestuary is not a pristine habitat.
one half million gallons per day
minimally treated effiuentfrom four sewage treatment plants are discharged directly into the mangrove lagoon
discharged down current from the collectors throughout most
the year.However, when the trade winds die
the wave induced flushing ceases, especially for extendedperiods as occurs commorny in September and October (Mortenson, n.d.), the lagoon water becomesgreen
visibility decreases to less than 0.3
Witham collector furthest
estuary hadthe lowest CPUE. However, Witham collectors
considered less effective within estuaries becausethey compete with natural settlement areas. Further study
necessary to determine
the poorerwater quality inside the estuary contributed to the lower settlement rate on this collector.
Great St. James site, with the second highest level
lobster recruitment, is adjacent
Current Cut which experiences water movement up to 0.5
compared with 0.1-0.2
atother sites. Currents along with wind-induced surface water movement probably
site furthest away from
estuary at in the leeward side
Saba Island receives a nearlyconstant easterly current, but experienced the least settlement with settlement rates 17%
those inthe estuary.
variable not only within an island group, but between island groups. For example,in Antigua, the highest settlement rate was on the five collectors in locations that receive directexposure to the southeast trade winds and eastwardly flowing equatorial current (Anon., n.d.).However, not all sites on that side were highly productive.
is unclear what effect currents, eddiesor other types
micro-environment have in concentrating pueruli.In southern Florida collectors deployed in channels had less selllement lhan collectors in slowermoving water juxtaposed to channels (Little, 1977). In Bermuda, the greatest selllcmeni occurredon collectors adjacent to major channels that pass a large volume
water. Ward (1989) observedthat some water movement will increase settlement,'but there may be a flow rate, which whenexceeded, results in reduced selliemenl.
high CPUE in the outer Mangrove Lagoon collectors in
Thomas compares favorably withthe observation
Little (1977) in Florida that postlarvae were more abundant in collectors placedin mangroves
in collectors placed
deeper channels. Little (1977) interpreted this
the near-shore environment
juvenile nursery areas and this study supports hiscontention.Along with differences in preferred settlement locations between different areas, selliement ratesvary between island groups. Simultaneous pueruli selllement rates were obtained from August 1987through July 1988 in Antigua, Florida Keys, and Bermuda (Hunt,
mean catch percollector (CPUE) ranged from 9.3 puerulus in Antigua,
in Florida Keys
1.4 in Bermuda(Table3).
CPUE for the Mangrove Lagoon, 6.04 puerulus, was comparable with settlementrates from the Florida Keys, but was
lower than that reported in Antigua.
olf-shore site atSaba Island had a CPUE 1.03 that was comparable
the CPUE obtained in
around Bermuda (Fig. 7).
Another Antigua study (Anon. n.d.) with 35 colleclors lasted 4
months. Scttlement exceededvalues oblained in this study in orny two months. September and October in Antigua.
in Antigua was
this Sludy in Scptember 1992 (Antigua. :\.5 lobsters
Ipe) and nearly 5 times greater than in October 1992 (Antigua:
Ipc. V I.
study in Antigua (Peacock, 1974) found selliement much highcr in May and
(1980), thc essential characteristics thill makc
:llllenableto commercial aquaculture include:
adcquate consumer demand
profit potential for the species.2) high food convcrsion efficiency. .
resistance to disease.4) the ability to reproduce in captivity,
5) simple larval developmentAs mentioned earlier, there
a high consumer
consumers pay a high price forlobster. Also studies have shown that high water tcmperatures decreasl;;
out time and increascfood conversion efficiency considerably. Water temperature in the Virgin Islands hovers around thcideal grow out temperature
27 to 29'C. Most lobsters have prm'ed to be hardy and the spin\'lobster
probably resistant to disease although this needs to be studied.
only characteristic lhatis not met
simple larval devclopment.
larval developmenl makcslarval rearing costly and,
this stage. difficult.
Witham collectors in regions with high puerulus abundances could increase the success
mariculture operations by eliminating the necessity to raise larvae. Clearly
would be chc:lpcl
easier to use lobster pueruli from natural populations to establish a lobster mariculture opcmliol'
a breeding stock
raising larvae for 6 to
t h i ~
study used small experimental collectors, a commercial operation would probably deploy more all(larger collectors.
Witham collectors can be used in the Virgin IslilOds to collect
pueruli and that to
collectors arc placed. For example. areas ncar mangroves have the highest recruitment rales, Sitc:
reasonably strong currents also have high recruitment. Recruitment is seasonal with th'
slimmer months having the highest recruitrnenl rates.
important with no statistically significant difference in the lunar time
for the Iwo sitcwith the highcst recruitment rates.Pueruli collection is, however. still fishing.
very long duration
larval stages prescntproblems in
the probable location
arc no reliable regional estimates
the puerulis survive to adults. Consequently. the effects on the natural population
pueruli cannot be assessed.
is, however. likely that natural mOrl:llityis high and
in a well-run mariculture system mortality
be \ess.If commercial mariculture
lobstcrs is successful, producers will need to
pcrillillinagencies that capture and removal
pucrulus will not affect nalUrallobster populations. Studics
year-to-yc.1r fluetu:ltion in the magnitude
j , ~ c r u i t m e n t
have becn done
Butler, 1986; Hcrrnkind
1990). Bermud:l (Ware1989; Farmer,
1989), Antigua (Pe:lcock. 1974),
with another species
Hawaii (MacDonald, 1986). Settlement \'ariabilily implicates pueruills recruitfllentlc\'cls:ls a possiblfactor regulating
slock abundance. Therefore. monitoring
collection on natural populations
question is how
local reproducth'c stock to recruitment in
likely lhal lIlosl
larvac are transported hundreds
kilometcrs before they settle (Phillips