Postlarval settlement of spiny lobster, Panulirus argus (Latreille, 1804) (Decapoda: Palinuridae), at the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica
Lobster fishery (Panulirus argus) forms an important part of the fishing activities along the Caribbean coast of Central America. The present study provides information regarding the seasonal abundance and distribution of postlarval P. argus in Parque Nacional Cahuita, Costa Rica. During the study period (March 2004-February 2005), a total of 1907 pueruli were obtained from GuSi collectors. Postlarvae were present during all months, with a pronounced peak in January-February 2005 (CPUE of 21.82 and 22.18, pueruli/collector/month, respectively), and minor peaks in May and October 2004. The abundance of postlarval P. argus in the study area was comparable to locations which support important lobster fisheries, e.g. Mexico. A majority of the postlarvae (1027 ind.) was collected during the first quarter moon, the remaining pueruli (880 ind.) during new moon; these results are in general agreement with similar findings for P. argus in the Caribbean area. Based upon our results, we recommend introducing a local or regional monitoring program, studying spiny lobster migration and distribution patterns, and evaluate the introduction of artificial shelters for P. argus.