This study investigates the interaction between signals in important environmental variables and recruitment trends for three Panama’s white shrimp (Litopenaeus) fisheries, Darien, Chame and Chiriqui, from 1960 to 2007. The environmental variables include wind speed, mean sea level, river outflow and the ENSO climatic index. Recruitment trends are represented using initial population size (NƟ) as estimated by depletion analysis utilizing Delury’s linearized model for seasonal depletion. A thorough analysis of the literature and advice given from those involved with the fishery both help determine which variables may be most important to productivity in the region. The NƟ estimates are then compared to and regressed against datasets for those variables deemed most important to each area. The results of the visual and regression analyses are then used to determine which variables have been most responsible for the declines observed in the three fisheries; In Darien, NƟ was observed to have a significant non-linear relationship with river flow; In Chame, NƟ had a highly significant positive correlation with wind speed; In Chiriqui, NƟ displayed a significant positive correlation with wind speed but for only one dataset. The associations between NƟ for each region and ENSO were not significant, but exhibited distinctly contrasting patterns suggesting that ENSO was having a unique impact on each fishery. The results of this study will augment the scientific literature available on the white shrimp fisheries of Panama. Furthermore, this study may help pave the way for similar investigations in the region to hopefully aid managers in making appropriate decisions about managing these fisheries in the future.
Maharaj, Ravi R., "An assessment of recruitment trends for three Panamanian white shrimp fisheries from 1960-2007 and determining the importance of environmental variables in regional productivity." (2011). Internship Reports (Restricted). 230.
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