Barr Al Hikman As An Important Nursery Ground For Blue Swimming Crabs Portunussegnis | 49138
Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development
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Barr Al Hikman is a vast pristine coastal wetland in the Sultanate of Oman that belongs to one of the world’s most undisturbed
tropical intertidal ecosystems. The area supports large numbers of shorebirds and benthic invertebrates, offers safe foraging place
for turtles and serves as a nursery ground for fishes. In this study, we investigated the significance of the nursery ground for the
commercially important blue swimming crab Portunussegnis. The density of the blue swimming crabs was appraised during six
sampling campaigns from 2012–2015 on a spatial grid with 200 m sampling interval during high and low tides. The crab densities
differed substantially between the years from virtually absent to densities up to 2 individuals per m2. The blue swimming crabs
sampled on the mudflats during low tide had carapax widths that were smaller than 25 mm. For the crabs that were sampled during
high tide, approximately 25% had carapax widths smaller than 25 mm, 50% had carapax widths between 25 and 50 mm, and the other
25% had carapax widths between 50 and 100 mm. All crabs were identified as males without eggs. A carapax size of greater than 100
mm is usually acceptable for commercial fisheries. The Barr Al Hikman area is therefore an important nursery grounds as the study
shows that relatively small crabs that are below the commercial size spend about 2.5 months in the intertidal mudflat to attain the
sizes of greater 100 mm.
Andy Kwarteng obtained his PhD degree in Remote Sensing and Economic Geology at the University of Texas at El Paso, USA, in 1988 and MSc in Mineral Exploration at McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 1984. He has worked as a Geologist and Research Scientist in USA, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. He is currently the Director of the Remote Sensing and GIS Center, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat Oman. His research interests include remote sensing applications to urban, marine, and desert environments. He is the author and co-author of 170 scientific, technical and company reports.