Sea Cucumber Condition and Trepang Industry

Since the Philippines has no formal management program for maintaining the sea cucumbers’ population, it is good to examine historical and present-day conditions of the sea cucumbers in the Philippines. Causes in the decrease in sea cucumber population are evaluated. Sea cucumber culture suggestions are also discussed in this paper. Methodology In going about this review, the Boolean method was used to research on the Journals hat are related to sea cucumbers and its export industry in the Philippines. 18 journal articles from the internet were collected.

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Some articles were traced from the bibliography of other Journals. Then PDF files of the researched Journal articles were downloaded from the internet. Out of the collected 18 Journal articles, 12 articles and one unpublished web source were cited in this paper. I attempted to look for related journals in the University of the Philippines Cube Library. However, the school library moved their books because of the renovation of the building where the library was iodated. Not all books were moved to the temporary mini libraries. Thus, I failed to get hold of the books which were possibly helpful in this review.

Luckily, there are published Journals already available online. Results and Discussion Sea Cucumber Identification Sea cucumber species can be precisely identified by their reduced endowments which is made of microscopic calcareous spices. These spices on the skin can adopt variety of forms. It can be anchor-shaped, perforated plate, pseudo-button, rod, biscuit-shaped, anchor plate, C-shaped rod, branched rod, linguistic plate, moth button, pseudo-table, ellipsoid, knobbed button, rosette, or sigmoid body (Preston 1993). Preston 1993).

Main specula types (left to right and top to bottom): Table (side and top view), anchor, perforated plate, pseudo-button, rod, biscuit, anchor plate, C-shaped rod, branched rod, linguistic plate, smooth button, pseudo-table, ellipsoid, knobbed button, rosette, sigmoid body (Preston 1993). To distinguish the spices from one form to the other, a simple technique is followed. One square centimeter of epidermis should be cut from the sea cucumber and be placed on a glass slide. To solved the collagen fibers holding the spices together, a drop of diluted sodium hypochlorite must be left on the skin for 10-20 minutes.

The spices can now be viewed under a light microscope. Historical and Present Condition of Sea Cucumbers in the Philippines According to Shoppe (2000), there are about 100 species of sea cucumbers in the Philippines while Olivares and colleagues (2010) mentioned that the number of sea cucumber species in the Philippines is already over 170 as collected from the works of Clark ; Rowe (1971), Tan Tit (1981), Rexes-Leonardo (1984), Rexes-Leonardo et al. 1985), Lane et al. (2000), and Kerr et al. (2006).

The first national stocks and fishery survey on shallow-water sea cucumbers by Label et al (2007) confirmed that there is an overexploitation of sea cucumbers in the Philippines from anecdotal accounts of many authors (Trinidad-Roar 1987; Shoppe et al. 1998; Examine 2001; Hein 2001; Gambol, Gomez and Univalves 2004 cited in Coho 2008). A recent study by Olivares and others (2010) showed that there is a possible decline in population of sea cucumbers in Boiling and And reef system in Boll. Holocausts have the highest density with a range of 4-9 mind. A-l in the areas.

But this range is even considered low. Population densities below 30 mind. Ha-1 are even considered to be within a critical level for a population to reproduce (Purcell et al 2009 cited in Olivares et al 2010). Back in the sass, 4-5 CM dried sea cucumber samples from Cube, Panamanian, Battings, and Canaan were accounted (Trinidad-Roar 1987 cited in Coho 2008). Shoppe (2000) also said that sea cucumber sizes have become smaller and one must go in deeper waters to collect. Northwestern ‘align Bay practices the same means of catch-effort and heavy collection of 5-10 CM sea cucumbers. 0 man hours were spent to collect ten commercial species in Lopez Jean while 25 hours were spent to collect only three species in Pillared (Material, Tarzan, and And 2004 cited in Coho 2008). The nationwide survey done in 14 shallow-water areas in the country confirmed the overflowing of small-sized sea cucumbers (Coho 2008). Figure 1 . Sample of small-sized dried sea cucumbers in Mindanao (Purcell in Coho 2008) The mean lengths of the Sophisticated in Boiling and And reef system in Boll is less than 15 CM.

This is the legal minimum length of sea cucumbers that can e collected as imposed in Queensland, Australia (Brenner 2005 cited in Olivares et al. 2010). But sea cucumbers with this length may have insufficient chance to reproduce before being harvested. Species-specific size-at-first-maturity was also not considered (Command 1993 cited in Olivares et al. 2010). According to Papua New Guinea’s species-based size limits for 17 major species (Buttoner 2005 cited in Olivares et al. 2010), the majority of the sea cucumbers in Boiling and And are undersized and should not be collected, [nor] processed, [nor] sold (Olivares et al.

Figure 2. Lengths of commercial sea cucumber species in Boiling and And (Olivares et al. 2010) The commercial utilization of sea cucumbers in the Philippines dates back from the eighteenth century. As years passed, exports of sea cucumbers were increasing. In 1970,only 12 metric tons of trepanned were exported. This increased to 100 t in 1976, 226 t in 1977, 647 t in 1978 and more than 500 t between 1978 and 1982. And since 1983, 1000 t of trepanned is being exported from the Philippines. An illustration of the export statistics from 1970 to 2000 is showed in the figure below. The trepanned export industry was very prominent during 1985.

In Philippine history, this was the year when former president Ferdinand Marco’s’ alleged dictatorship was almost officially put to an end (Gestapo. Com). Perhaps the people then in coastal communities had freedom to boost their businesses with sea cucumbers and perhaps had more freedom to trade with other countries. Figure 3. Volume and mean value of trepanned exports from the Philippines, 1970-2000 (Examine 2002) Interviews and focused group discussions with the fishermen in Boiling, Boll exposed that there was really a decline in sea cucumber population considering the major changes in their fishery.

Only 25 households ventured into gleaning and trawling for sea cucumbers in the sass. Then the Chinese traders came and taught some fishers how to process their traditional trepanned. It stimulated the locals’ interest in fishery. The sass was the peak of the trepanned export industry in the area, reaching an average of 100 keg of dried sea cucumbers per day per person (Trinidad-Roar 1987 cited in Olivares et al. 2010). This phenomenon coincided with the data shown in Figure 3. The table below shows a compilation of the commercially exploited sea cucumber species from different parts of the Philippines.