Researchers at the National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA) have developed a new technique for the measurement of sea cucumber in the Yucatan peninsula, helping to provide more reliable information to study the growth and development of the species.
México: This method improves the accuracy in the estimation of body weight and growth of this species in its natural habitat. Alicia Poot Salazar, a researcher at Regional Fisheries Research Center in Yucalpetén INAPESCA, explained that the new technique can be used in the field without sacrificing the bodies of the sea cucumber, which is a measure of protection of this fishery.
She noted that because sea cucumbers shrink or stretch it is difficult to measure their body shape and obtain reliable results to study their growth and development. However, the proposed technique takes the square root of the length by the width of the body, with the resulting figure showing the exact weight. As they are measured with a tape measure it allows them to be immediately returned to their natural habitat.
This measurement system also lets you know, in less time, the available biomass of sea cucumber and generates scientific support for its best use. The sea cucumber lives on the seabed and is very sensitive to environmental changes such as temperature, salinity, oxygen concentration and water transparency.
The researcher noted that red tides and hurricanes are natural phenomena that affect the growth of the species, however, the sea cucumber has developed strategies to survive these events, such as the ability to engage in a prolonged latency period to survive. Recent research has shown that the brown sea cucumber contains a high concentration of antioxidant proteins that allow it to survive in adverse conditions. These animals alsohave the ability to repopulate large areas of the seabed where there is food, but their very low mobility makes them vulnerable to fishing.