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A Manual on Hatchery of Sea Cucumber Holothuria scabra in the Sultanate of


Oman

Technical Report · December 2012

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Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth
Directorate General of Fisheries Research
Aquaculture Center

A Manual on
Hatchery of Sea Cucumber
Holothuria scabra
in the Sultanate of Oman

Khalfan M. Al Rashdi
Igor Eeckhaut
Michel R. Claereboudt

All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of materials contained in this manual, in
paper or electronic form, for educational and non-commercial purposes, are not authorized
without prior written consent from the copyright holder provided the source of information
is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material contained in this manual for resale or
commercial purposes is prohibited without permission of the copyright holder. Applications for
such permission should be addressed to the Director General of Fisheries Research, Ministry
of Agriculture &Fisheries Wealth, P.O. Box 427, Muscat 100. Sultanate of Oman.
First edition March, 2012.

Suggested citation format:


Al Rashdi K.M., Eeckhaut I. and Claereboudt M. R. 2012. A manual on Hatchery of Sea
cucumber Holothuria scabra in the Sultanate of Oman. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
Wealth, Aquaculture Centre, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. 27 pp.
FOREW ORD
The Sultanate of Oman is richly endowed
with marine resources that provide
livelihood to ishermen in the coastal
communities. Sea cucumber is just one
of these resources providing source of
income to Mahout Bay ishers (men and
women). The species Holothuria scabra
is one of the most sought-after beche-de-
mer products being sold to international
markets.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
Wealth through the Agriculture and
Fisheries Development Fund has created
a project titled “Feasibility study of sea
cucumber aquaculture in Oman” and
provided the much-needed inancial
support to be able to conduct research
studies aimed at developing techniques in
the hatchery of the sea cucumber Holothuria
scabra. Because of the high demand for
beche-de-mer products, ishers put so
much ishing pressures on this resource
causing decreasing ishery production
to the degree of overishing. Therefore,
there is an urgent need to improve and
intensify the production of hatchery-bred
sea cucumber juveniles for grow-out
culture and for stock enhancement.
This manual shall serve as a guide
to aquaculture technicians, students,
entrepreneurs and marine enthusiasts,
who shall endeavor to multiply the efforts
of the authors.

Saoud H. Al-Habsi, PhD


Director General of Fisheries Research

2
ACKNOW LEDGMENT
We thank the Agriculture and Fisheries
Development Fund for providing the
necessary fund for the conduct of
various research activities and inal
printing of this manual. Special thanks
are due to His Excellency Dr. Fuad Al
Sagwani, Minister of Agriculture and
Fisheries Wealth and His Excellency
Dr. Hamed Al Oui, Undersecretary
of Fisheries Wealth for their support
and encouragement to write this
manual. Also we thank Dr. Saoud Al
Habsi, Director General of Fisheries
Research and Dr. Fahad Ibrahim,
Director of Aquaculture Center for their
unwavering support in sea cucumber
aquaculture project and their sincere
encouragement to inally see the
printing of this manual. We thank
Madagascar Holothurie Company
(Madagascar) and University of Mons
(Belgium) for taking their time off
to help us in the hatchery trials and
without their technical support this
manual will not come out.

Khalfan M. Al Rashdi
Igor Eeckhaut
Michel R. Claereboudt

3
CONTENTS
FOREWORD 2

ACKNOWLEDGMENT 3

INTRODUCTION 5

Diversity of sea cucumbers in Oman 5

Status of Sea Cucumber Fishery in Oman 7

Biology of Holothuria scabra 8

Habitat and Environment 8

Feeding and Growth 8

Sex and Reproduction 8

Maturation and Development 9

Artiicial Propagation Techniques 10

Source of broodstock 10

Preparation for Spawning 10

Hatchery Techniques 11

Hormone-induced oocyte maturation and fertilization 11

Induced spawning 12

Pre-spawning and spawning behavior 13

Egg collection, counting, incubation and hatching 13

Post-spawning maintenance 15

Larval rearing 15

Food and feeding 16

Preparation of settlement substrates 17

Larval settlement and metamorphosis 19

Some problems in larval rearing 19

References 20

4
INTRODUCTION DIVERSITY OF SEA
The sea cucumber ishery in the Sultanate CUCUMBERS IN OMAN
of Oman is centered on one species, the Although there are a growing number of
Holothuria scabra. The H. scabra ishery studies focusing on echinoderms and
is limited on the eastern side of Mahout holothuroids worldwide, the Arabian
Bay area in Al-Wusta region, which is Sea has not received much attention.
characterized by seagrass beds with There have been a few publications on
ine sand in sheltered lats and lagoons. echinoderms in the region, but with the
H. scabra is considered one of the exception of recent studies on the isheries
most commercially valuable species for and stock assessment of Holothuria
beche-de-mer production and have been scabra (Al-Rashdi et al. 2007a; Al-Rashdi
widely ished in the tropics. The A-grade et al. 2007b), there are no irst hand
classiication of beche-de-mer from records of sea cucumbers in the Sultanate
sandish H. scabra commands one of the of Oman except a recent study done by
highest prices on the international market. Michel & Khalfan (2011). The Sultanate
China has become the largest producer of of Oman’s coastline extends over than
sea cucumber worldwide. 3,500 km in three connected bodies of
water: the Arabian Gulf, the Sea of Oman
and the Arabian Sea. The country has
always depended on the sea, however
human pressure on its natural resources is
steadily increasing from ishing, extensive
infrastructure development, tourism and
industry.
The marine climates in each of the
three bodies of water are very distinct.
The Arabian Sea coastal ecosystems
withstand the full force of a seasonal
coastal upwelling during the summer
Fig. 1. An adult sandish, Holothuria scabra
monsoon (June–September) with sea
However, the worldwide supply of beche- surface temperatures often dropping well
de-mer could hardly meet the Asian market below 20°C. The cool upwelled water is
demand. The world beche-de-mer market accompanied by a steady inlux of nutrients
is largely controlled by Chinese traders that feeds the growth of extensive beds of
and Hongkong SAR is still the major world benthic algae interspersed with rich coral
market followed by Singapore which is communities. In the Arabian Gulf and the
rather more stable. From the nutrition and Sea of Oman, sea surface temperatures
medicinal point of view, sea cucumber is in the same summer period often exceed
an ideal tonic food. It has higher in protein 32°C, whereas in the winter, water
and lower in fat than most other sea temperatures drop to below 22°C. Despite
foods. It has been a source of chondroitin these extremes, coral communities
sulphate which is well-known for reducing lourish along the hard-substrate shores
arthritic pain. Currently, there are an and support a rich echinoderm fauna.
increasing number of commercial products There is only one marine protected area
containing sea cucumber and its extracts (the Daimaniyat Nature Reserve) in the
for nutritional and medicinal purposes. Sea of Oman, and it covers about 20
km2 and encompasses a string of nine
5
small islands. In total, 17 species of Holothuroidea
Aspidochirotida, 2 species of Apoda and 2
species of Dendrochirotida were observed
during the survey. Additional species of
Dendrochirotida were observed in the
south of Oman. Although eight species
were found in all or nearly all locations,
many others were only found in four
locations or fewer. Holothuria scabra, for
instance, was restricted to two locations on
the Arabian Sea near the Island of Masirah,
Holothuria leucospilota
and Holothuria arenacava was only found
in a few sandy embayments near Muscat.
The overall number of species decreased
from the Arabian Sea (19 species) to the
Sea of Oman (13 species) to the Arabian
Gulf (8 species). Several species were
recorded for the irst time during the
survey: Holothuria arenacava, H. nobilis,
a common yet unidentiied species of
Holothuria, H. cinerescens, and a mottled
pink Actinopyga, these last three were
from Dhofar (southern Oman). Holothuria Holothuria atra
hilla and Holothuria impatiens were also
observed. From a community standpoint,
both the non-metric multidimensional
scaling analysis and the cluster analysis,
identiied a major split in the structure
of sea cucumber communities between
the Arabian Sea and the Sea of Oman.
This irst subdivision is mainly due to six
species that were restricted to the Arabian
Sea coast of the Sultanate: Holothuria
scabra, H. nobilis, Actinopyga miliaris,
Holothuria scabra
Actinopyga sp. (unidentiied species), H.
cinerescens and an unidentiied species
of Holothuria sp. Secondary subdivisions
of communities distinguish the northern
part of the Arabian Sea coast from its
most southern part (Dhofar). In the Sea
of Oman, sea cucumber communities
from the central part of the Gulf (Muscat)
are separated from those in the northern
and southern regions. The holothuroid
community found near Mahout Island Holothuria nobilis
appeared to be relatively distinct from both
that of the Arabian Sea and the Sea of Fig. 2. Some sea cucumbers species
found in Omani waters
Oman.
6
STATUS OF SEA CUCUMBER
FISHERY IN OMAN
There have been very few studies conducted
on the ishery of sea cucumber in the Sultanate
of Oman. Harvesting of sea cucumber mainly
Holothuria scabra, constitutes a minor ishery
in Oman which takes place in Mahout Bay.
Due to the increased demand for beche-de-
mer in the international markets, a revived sea
cucumber ishery was noted in 2003. The ishery
is usually linked with the shrimp ishing season
that runs from September to March. However,
sea cucumber harvesting is done only when the
number of shrimp landings decreased usually
Fig. 3. Women of Al Wusta province,
during November. collect sandish
during low tide
Despite the lack of regulations in the harvesting
Processed sea cucumbers showed a signiicant
of sea cucumbers, some general ishery
number of very small individuals of less than 6 cm
management rules are being practiced in the
(dried form) which correspond to about 12 cm of
region such as the restriction on the use of
live specimens.
SCUBA for harvesting any marine resource. Sea
cucumbers are only collected by hand during low-
tide or by skin-diving in deeper areas. The peak
months for harvesting sea cucumber are from
September to January, despite the lack of speciic
closed season. Studies showed evidences of
rapid overishing of sea cucumbers in Oman.
Recently, the average harvest per isher in 2007
was only less than 20 per ishing trip compared to
about 100 sea cucumbers per isher per ishing
trip in 2005. In 2005, 50% of the ishers were
Women, and because of the stock depletion their
percentage has dropped in 2008 down to 15%.

Fig. 4. Small caught H. scabra which


relects overishing
7
At present, the government through the Biology of H. scabra
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth
Habitat and Environment
has already initiated some measures to
monitor the sea cucumber ishery with the Sea cucumbers are an abundant and
objective of providing regulatory framework diverse group of worm-like and usually
that will ensure the sustainability of the soft-bodied echinoderms. They are found
resource. in nearly every marine environment, but
Classiication and Morphology of are most diverse on tropical shallow-water
Holothuria scabra coral reefs. They range from the intertidal,
where they may be exposed briely at low
Sea cucumbers are holothurids which tide, to the loor of the deepest oceanic
are related to sea stars, brittle stars, and trenches. They are found in sandy-muddy
sea urchins. The taxonomy of sandish H. areas with lots of sea grasses; mostly in
scabra is: shallow waters of 5-10 meters deep. The
Phylum: Echinodermata, Class: more preferred areas have high levels of
Holothuridae (with tube feet), Family: nutrients. They can tolerate lower salinity
Holothuriidae (with circular body and single up to 20 ppt for short period of time.
gonad), Genus: Holothuria (Metriatyla)
Rowe, 1969, and Species: H. scabra
Jaeger 1833.
Sea cucumbers have elongated and
cylindrical body. The body wall is the edible
part and accounts for more than 50% of
the total animal weight. The body surface
is relatively smooth with small papillae
or sensory tube feet, with black dots and
dark transverse wrinkles. The mouth is
on the ventral surface at the anterior end
of the body while the anus is located
dorsally at the posterior end of the body. Fig. 5. Natural habitat of Holothuria scabra
Sea cucumbers have tiny calcareous
plates called spicules in their skin (Fig. 4). Feeding and Growth
Microscopic examination of spicules can
be used for species identiication. Juveniles and adults of sea cucumbers
feed on detritus or decaying organic
matter. However, under captive or culture
conditions they can feed on dry seaweeds
and artiicial feeds. Sea cucumbers grow
to a size of 300-500 g (15-16 inches
long) over one year which is equivalent
to a monthly growth rate of about 15-25 g
month.

Sex and Reproduction


By external features, it is not possible to
determine the male from the female sea
Fig. 4. Sea cucumber cucumber. Sex can only be determined
morphology by biopsy or dissection of animal to obtain
8
gonad sample. However several studies the water column. The fertilized eggs will
showed that animals are ripe at most hatch and the larvae will live a planktonic
times of the year, with one or two seasonal or free loating existence, swimming along
peaks. with the aid of tiny cilia for mobility, eating
and growing until they have reached the
Sea cucumbers can reproduce both
metamorphosis stage.
sexually and asexually, although most
species have deined sexes. During
asexual reproduction, the sea cucumber
Metamorphosis and Development
will divide itself down the median line, also
known as ission, to create two separate Sea cucumbers undergo a metamorphic
organisms, which will complete their phase that transforms from larva to adult
development by regenerating the missing (Fig. 5). During metamorphosis, larvae
body parts. Some can only complete this undergo a complex development and
process if certain parts are present. regeneration of internal organs. The newly
emerged juveniles sink to the bottom in
In contrast, sexual reproduction or
order to complete their development and
spontaneous spawning involves the
take on the adult form, but will continue to
external fertilization of eggs and the
grow until they reach the full-adult size.
subsequent fertilization by sperm within

Fig. 5. The life cycle of sandish,


Holothuria scabra
9
ARTIFICIAL PROPAGATION during low tide. While at sea, collected
TECHNIQUES animals should be kept in insulated
containers with aeration using portable
In order to determine their potentials for battery-operated aerator if holding time
commercial culture or for restocking of is more than two hours. It is better if the
depleted marine areas it is necessary to animals defecate while in the holding
develop mass seed production techniques containers before packing in transport
for the sea cucumber. bags. Although sea cucumbers can
Source of Broodstock tolerate low dissolved oxygen levels
and high temperature (up to 30oC) for a
Wild sea cucumber broodstock are usually
long period of time without eviscerating,
used for artiicial propagation. Animals
they must be provided optimal holding
are collected during their reproductive
conditions i.e. water temperature of 27-
season so that they are ready for
30 oC to prevent stress which can cause
immediate spawning. Ideally, broodstock
premature spawning.
must be around 250 to 500 g in weight
(Fig. 3). Furthermore, animals with no Prior to packing, animals must be cleaned
bodily damage or lesions due to collection by gently washing the body with seawater
procedures, have smooth and shiny skin and should be packed at low density or
with transparent mucous layer, and have better yet individually if using smaller
not eviscerated should be selected. plastic bags illed with one liter of sea water
and inlated with oxygen.
Sea cucumbers are collected by hand

Fig. 7. Selected broodstock prior


spawning.

Preparation for Spawning


Upon arrival in the hatchery, the animals
are acclimatized while in the transport bags
with ambient seawater. Their bodies are
gently cleaned before placing in the tank
with low-through sea water and aeration.
Sediments or faeces are siphoned at the
tank bottom immediately prior to induction
of spawning. The animals are induced to
Fig. 6. Newly-caught sea cucumber H. spawn after about 30 minutes to 1 hr (Fig.
scabra broodstock from Mahout Bay 7).
10
HATCHERY TECHNIQUES
Hormone-Induced Oocyte
Maturation and Fertilization
Broodstock are dissected to obtain their
gonads for the in-vitro fertilization (Fig
7-Part 1). A cut was made using a pair
of scissors at the lower ventral side of its
body. Body luid is drained and the gonad
is taken out using forceps and placed in 1. Dissect

a beaker. Gonads are then cut into small


pieces using a pair of scissors, and then
sieved in 60 µm plankton net with iltered
sea water in order to get the oocytes or the
spermatozoa in the case of males. Then,
the oocytes are induced to mature within
2hr by adding the artiicial “maturation
hormone” solution prior to adding the milt
to fertilize. The fertilized eggs are kept in a 2. Remove gonad
small basin without aeration until hatching.

Fig. 8-1. Part 1 of induced oocyte


maturation in sea cucumber H. scabra 3. Cut gonad into pieces

5. Add hormone to oocytes 4.Wash and ilter


11
Fig. 8-2 Part two of induced oocyte
maturation in sea cucumber H. scabra

Induced Spawning
1) Temperature shock-
water temperature is
increased by 3-5oC for one
hour, either by adding sun-
warmed seawater into the
spawning tank or by using
aquarium heater (Fig.
8). Water temperature is
kept within 28-32oC with
constant stirring to maintain
temperature uniformly
Fig. 9 Monitoring of water temperature
within the tank. In some in the spawning tank
cases, water temperature
pressure application- animals are placed in the spawning
is cooled down by 5oC
tank without water for half an hour before subjecting them
below ambient for one
to powerful jets of seawater for several minutes. Seawater
hour and then raise the
is replaced at ambient temperature.
temperature again above
ambient by 3-5oC. After 3) Sperm-induced technique- one to two ripe males
treatment, replace water (previously identiied) are dissected to obtain the gonads.
with fresh seawater at Gonads are cut into small pieces and added to the
ambient temperature and spawning tank at ambient water temperature.
wait until the animals 4) Spirulina bath- dried alga Spirulina is added at a
spawn. concentration of 30 g per 300-500 L of seawater. “Algamac
2) Drying and water 2000”, a commercial preparation of spray-dried cells of
Schizochytrium algae may also be used at 0.1 g/liter. Mix
12
well by stirring the water and leave for one intermittent egg release, sometimes at
hour before replacing with fresh seawater one hour after the irst male releases milt.
at ambient temperature. Fertilization takes place in the water.
5) Treatment combinations may also be Females can spawn 2-3 times over a
used: period of one hour but may stop when
disturbed. On the average, a 500-g female
a) Dry treatment + Cold shock
can spawn at a range of least 1 to 3 million
treatment + Hot shock treatment
eggs. During spawning, it is advisable to
b) Hot Shock treatment + Spirulina remove the males from the tank once they
bath
c) Dry treatment + Hot shock
treatment + Spirulina bath
Pre-Spawning and Spawning
Behavior
Broodstock display signs or behavior
indicating that spawning is imminent, such
as: 1) rolling movements, 2) lifting the front-
end of the body and swaying, 3) gliding or
climbing the tank wall.

Fig. 10. Spawning behavior of male H. Fig. 11. A: male gonads containing sperms
scabra and B: female gonads with mature oocytes.

Sea cucumber H. scabra are broadcast started releasing sperm in order to prevent
spawners. Spawning usually occurs in the “poly-spermy” or a condition of excessive
afternoon, or at night following collection amount of sperm that can damage the
of the broodstock. Spawning has been eggs.
observed just prior to the full-moon and
Egg Collection, Counting,
new-moon phases. Males usually spawn
irst, releasing a continuous stream Incubation and Hatching
of milt (or the hydrated suspension of When spawning is complete, breeders are
spermatozoa) for several minutes or even removed from the spawning tank. Eggs
hours. Female usually shows bulging are siphoned into an 80µm wet sieve and
of the front-end of the body followed by washed several times with UV-treated
13
seawater to remove excess sperm and accumulated dirt during spawning. Newly-
spawned eggs are white, spherical and visible to the naked eye. Sea cucumber eggs
measure 80 to 200 µm.

Fig. 12. Embryonic and larval


development of sandish H. scabra at
water temperature of 25-29oC.

To estimate the number of eggs, place


all eggs in a bucket with known volume,
e.g. 10L. Stir the water gently to disperse
the eggs in the water column. Take ive
1-ml subsample, then count number
of eggs in each subsample using the
Sedgewick-Rafter chamber under a
compound microscope. Get the average Eggs are stocked in the hatching-cum-
of the 5 subsamples and multiply with the larval rearing tanks at a stocking density
total volume of the water in the container. of 0.5-1 per ml for incubation, hatching and
Estimate also the fertilization rate by subsequent rearing the newly-hatched
dividing the number of fertilized eggs by larvae. Hatching occurs at 36 hrs after
the total number of eggs counted. fertilization at water temperature of 25-29
oC (Fig. 7).
14
Fig. 13. Broodstock used in induced spawning are returned to holding tank with sand bottom to
recuperate and remature

Paramater Levels Remarks

Salinity, ppt 32- 36

Temperature. oC 26-30

Rearing water UV-iltered

Natural light during daytime,


Illumination, lux 400
artiicial light at nighttime

Use ine bubble-producing


Dissolved oxygen, ppm 6-9
airstone diffuser

pH 0.07-0.4

Ammonia, ppm 0.07-0.4


Table 1. Important water quality parameters during larval rearing of
H. scabra

Post-Spawning Maintenance Larval Rearing


After spawning, animals are put back Newly-hatched auricularia larvae are
in sand-bottom tanks lined with low- maintained in the same tank where they
through seawater (Fig. 6). The animals are are hatched. Auricularia is the stage when
maintained at a stocking density of 20-30 sea cucumber larvae commence feeding
animals per 1-ton tank in static aerated on exogenous food sources. Larvae are
seawater. They can be fed artiicial feeds stocked at 1000/liter of water volume in
consisting of prawn head waste, soya bean 1000-L plastic buckets illed with 800L UV-
powder, rice bran and sea grass powder, at iltered seawater (Fig. 7).
a feeding rate of 50 g per day. Broodstock
held at lower density and fed artiicial diets
can re-mature and spawn more than once.

15
Fig. 14. Larval rearing of sand fish H.
scabra: batch-culture method in 100-
L plastic buckets (A-B); larval rearing
in flow-through tank (C-D), cotton-
filter for copepods entering through
water supply.

Food and Feeding


The use of mixed algae is best for sea
cucumber larvae however, the best feed
combination and appropriate feeding levels
have to be looked into. Auricularia larvae
can be fed a mixture of different algae such
as Chaetoceros muelleri, C. calcitrans,
Isochrysis galbana, Nannochloropsis sp.,
and the temperate alga Phaeodactylum
tricornotum. P. tricornotum is cultured
at low temperature of 19-24oC in the
laboratory with artiicial lights (Fig. 12).
The sea water medium is 1-μm mesh
iltered and UV treated, and enriched with
chemical fertilizers at the rate of 2 to 3 ml
per l of water. Chaetoceros, Isochrysis
and Nannochloropsis are all cultured in
the laboratory or in outdoor tanks (water
temperature: 29-30oC) and fertilized
with Guillard’s F/2 medium (Trademark:
Proline).
Feeding of auricularia larvae starts on
Day-2 or two days after hatching (Table
2). Initially, algal density used is at 20,000
cells per ml and is maintained until Day-7.
From Day-8 until Day-15 when the larvae
transformed to mid-auricularia and then
late auricularia, algal density is increased
to 40,000 cells per ml. From auricularia,
larvae transform into doliolaria which is
non-feeding. It preceeds the stage when
16
Fig. 15. Algal food culture under laboratory
condition

the larvae settle in the tank bottom or on


any substrates provided and begin their
benthic life as pentactula larvae.

Preparation of Settlement Substrates

Fig. 16 Corrugated PVC plates immersed


in tank with low-through sea water to coat
with benthic diatoms
Suitable settlement substrates are provided
(similar to abalone hatcheries) such as
corrugated PVC plastics, iberglass plates,
mesh screens and rough tiles. Prior to
use, the plates are prepared by immersing
in shaded tanks illed with seawater that
were previously inoculated with various
benthic diatom species such as Navicula Fig. 16 Corrugated PVC plates
sp. or Nitzschia sp (Fig. 13). In other immersed in tank with
hatcheries, the plate surfaces are painted flow-through sea water to coat with benthic diatoms

with commercially available Spirulina


powder made into paste for coating at 1-2 the Spirulina-coated plates are immersed
g powder per m2. It usually takes 4-5 days in tanks with low-through sea water in a
to coat plate surfaces with diatoms. Then partially shaded area.
17
Days Larval
Feeding Water management
post-hatch stage

0 (stocking) 32- 36 No No change

Early to mid 100% change


2-7 20,000 cells/ml*
auricularia every 2 days

Mid to late
8- 15 40,000 cells/ml* 100% change daily
auricularia

18-20 Doliolaria Non-feeding stage same

Benthic diatoms & Sargas-


22-29 ppm Pentactula Flow-thru
sum extract

Benthic diatoms & Sargas-


30-40 Juveniles Flow-thru
sum extract

*mixed algae: Chaetoceros,


Phaeodactylum, Nannochlo-
ropsis, Isochrysis

Table 2. Feeding and water management schemes during larval


rearing of sea cucumber Holothuria scabra

18
Larval Settlement and Metamorphosis
Metamorphosis or the transformation to doliolaria stage begins two
weeks after fertilization. However, most larvae can be observed
swimming continuously searching for subtrates for settlement.
Since doliolaria are phototactic (positively attracted to light), it is
best to cover the tank to prevent aggregation of larvae on the water
surface.
The early juveniles began to attach at the bottom of the rearing tank on
the 3rd or 4th week after fertilization. They appeared as transparent
(visible only by using light torch) and their size is estimated to be 0.5
mm. At this stage, they are fed daily with inely ground Sargassum
particles (that passed thru 120 µm ilter) at an amount of 1 ml/100
L tank volume. Not all larvae undergo metamorphosis at the same
time; many of them may stay at auricularia or doliolaria stages
while others are transformed into juveniles. Hence, a mixture of
phytoplankton and Sargassum particles should be added into the
culture tank during this period (which lasts about 2 weeks).

Some Problems Encountered During Larval Rearing


Copepods infestation is one problem that can be encountered during
larval rearing of sea cucumber. Copepods attack sea cucumber
larvae either directly or by repeated collision causing bodily damage.
There is dificulty in eliminating copepods with sea cucumber larvae
as their sizes are similar. However the application of trichlorofon
(Dipterex) has been recommended. Also, water iltration should be
improved to minimize copepod and ciliate infestations.

19
REFERENCES

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