Status of sea cucumber fishery and populations across sites with different levels of management in Palawan, Philippines
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This study was conducted to investigate the sea cucumber fishery and compare populations between exploited and unexploited sites. Three islands were selected, the Arrecife Island as the unexploited site and the Johnson and Green Islands representing the exploited sites. In each site, sea cucumber species richness, diversity and densities were assessed by laying as much as 15 transects (50 m × 5 m) per habitat in each island. Differences in species richness, diversity and relative densities across sites and habitats were tested using a Two-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Tukey test for post hoc comparisons. An interview with gatherers, key informants and focus group discussions were also conducted to gather information on the sea cucumber fishery and its management. Results showed that the unexploited site had a higher species richness (14 vs. 7 and 7). Relative density of species was also higher in the unexploited site at 1245 ind ha-1 while it was only 78 and 39 ind ha-1 in exploited sites (p < 0.05). Interviews and a focus group discussion revealed that national regulations on permit system and size limits were not enforced at the local level and that gatherers had low levels of awareness regarding regulations on sea cucumber harvest. Current management measures appear to be ineffective and insufficient, leaving the sea cucumbers in areas open to exploitation at risk of depletion. Given that sea cucumbers provide substantial income to local communities, the depletion of this resource could compromise the livelihood of people in island communities that rely heavily on marine resources for living. Thus, this study highlights the need to review national policies on sea cucumber fishery and place the management at the local level.
CitationJontila, J. B. S., Monteclaro, H. M., Quinitio, G. F., Santander-de Leon, S. M., & Altamirano, J. P. (2018). Status of sea cucumber fishery and populations across sites with different levels of management in Palawan, Philippines.
This study was jointly funded by the Department of Science and Technology- Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), the University of the Philippines Visayas and the Western Philippines University. The support and cooperation of the Municipality of Roxas, Palawan, the management of Arrecife Island especially Ms. Glesselle T. Batin, and the sea cucumber gatherers in Green and Johnson Islands are greatly appreciated.
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Conference paperS Watanabe, JM Zarate, MJH Lebata-Ramos & MFJ Nievales - In CA Hair, TD Pickering & DJ Mills (Eds.), Asia-Pacific tropical sea cucumber aquaculture. Proceedings of an international symposium held in Noumea, New Caledonia, 15-17 February 2011, 2012 - Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
Series: ACIAR Proceedings; No. 136It is important to accurately evaluate the wellbeing or nutritional condition of organisms when monitoring the wild stock conditions and improvement in aquaculture techniques; however, reliable nutritional condition indexes have not been established for sea cucumbers. In this study, the effects of starvation on condition factor (body weight / body volume), coelomic fluid constituent (protein, carbohydrate and cholesterol) concentrations and coelomic fluid density were analysed in an attempt to establish a method to determine nutritional condition in juvenile sandfish (Holothuria scabra). Body length, breadth and weight of juveniles produced at the sea cucumber hatchery of the Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, were measured after anaesthetisation with 2% menthol-ethanol. Coelomic fluid protein level was analysed by the bicinchoninic acid method. Carbohydrate level was analysed by the phenol – sulfuric acid method. Cholesterol level was analysed by the Zak method. Coelomic fluid volume and coelomic fluid weight were measured. Starvation caused a concomitant decrease in body length, breadth and weight, resulting in no net change in the condition factor. This result indicated that condition factor cannot be used as a nutritional condition index. Coelomic fluid constituent level could be measured with a small volume of sample (i.e. 10–20 μL). Although no clear pattern was observed in coelomic fluid protein and cholesterol levels during the starvation trial, carbohydrate level increased, as did coelomic fluid density. These results suggest that coelomic fluid density and carbohydrate level may be used as indexes for nutritional condition of sandfish without sacrificing the animal.
Conference paperDJ Mills, NDQ Duy, MA Juinio-Meñez, CM Raison & JM Zarate - In CA Hair, TD Pickering & DJ Mills (Eds.), Asia-Pacific tropical sea cucumber aquaculture. Proceedings of an international symposium held in Noumea, New Caledonia, 15-17 February 2011, 2012 - Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
Series: ACIAR Proceedings; No. 136South-East Asia has traditionally been the global centre of production of tropical sea cucumbers for Chinese markets. Early research into culture methods took place outside this region, notably in India, the Pacific region and China. However, recent investment in Holothuria scabra (sandfish) culture has led to some significant advances within this region. The Philippines and Vietnam have been at the forefront of recent efforts, with involvement from substantial national programs and local institutions as well as international donors and scientific organisations. Smaller programs are ongoing in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Recent advances and simplifications in hatchery techniques are a major step forward, having promoted the development of experimental-scale sea-ranching ventures, and given rise to a small, commercial pond-based culture industry in Vietnam. Technology developments in nursery systems are likely to provide opportunities for culture enterprises in a broader range of environments than is now possible. A major research thrust in the Philippines towards developing cooperative sea-ranching enterprises has demonstrated good potential, and institutional/legislative arrangements to ensure adequate property rights have been tested. Rotational culture with shrimp is proving successful in Vietnam, while the possibility of proximate co-culture of sandfish and shrimp has largely been ruled out. Small-scale experiments in the Philippines raise the possibility of co-culture in ponds with a number of finfish species. Current research directions are looking at diversifying technology to increase success in a range of coastal conditions, better understanding the social and biophysical conditions required for success, and finding ways of effectively scaling-out developed systems and technology.
Conference paperS Watanabe, M Kodama, JM Zarate, MJH Lebata-Ramos & MFJ Nievales - In CA Hair, TD Pickering & DJ Mills (Eds.), Asia-Pacific tropical sea cucumber aquaculture. Proceedings of an international symposium held in Noumea, New Caledonia, 15-17 February 2011, 2012 - Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
Series: ACIAR Proceedings; No. 136Due to frequent viral disease outbreaks, a large proportion of shrimp aquaculture in South-East Asian countries has switched from black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) to P. vannamei, an exotic species originally imported from Latin America. One of the causes of disease outbreaks is thought to be poor water and sediment conditions in the shrimp ponds, which may aggravate disease symptoms. To obtain basic information for co-culture methods of black tiger shrimp and sandfish (Holothuria scabra) for possible mitigation of shrimp-pond eutrophication and prevention of disease outbreaks, basic laboratory experiments were conducted at the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center—Aquaculture Department in Iloilo, the Philippines. A feeding trial of juvenile sandfish showed that they do not grow well with fresh shrimp feed on hard substrate. Another trial indicated that sand substrate enhances the growth of juvenile sandfish fed with shrimp feed. A feeding trial using shrimp tank detritus, shrimp faeces and Navicula ramosissima (a benthic diatom) as food sources showed that sandfish grew fastest with the faeces, followed by detritus and N. ramosissima. Dissolved oxygen consumption and acid-volatile sulfur levels in the shrimp tank detritus were reduced by sandfish feeding. This suggests that sandfish are capable of growing with organic matter in shrimp ponds, and can bioremediate shrimp-pond sediment.