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Size at sexual maturity of the flower teatfish Holothuria (Microthele) sp. in the Seychelles

Wed, 24 April 2019

By Salomé Cahuzac,1* Chantal Conand,2 Rodney Govinden,1 Ameer Ebrahim,3 Stephanie Marie1 and Marc Léopold4

The intensive harvesting of sea cucumbers in the Seychelles over the last decade has raised concerns about the sustainability of this resource. The flower teatfish Holothuria (Microthele) sp. (locally called pentard) is one of the main target species, representing about two-thirds of annual sea cucumber catches. The biology of this species is largely unknown. To inform fishery management, the reproductive biology of the species was studied on the Mahé Plateau and the Amirantes Plateau during the 2018 northwest monsoon season. A macroscopic analysis of the gonads, and a description of the tubules were performed on 63 sea cucumbers. We observed that the population at the Amirantes Plateau was smaller in size than those from the Mahé pla- teau, although that difference was not statistically significant. Female tubules were wider and shorter than male tubules, showing there is sexual dimorphism in this species. The size at sexual maturity of flower teat- fish was estimated at 30.3 cm (95% confidence interval: 28.5–32.3 cm) through logistical regression. Based on this result, a minimal harvest size of 31 cm may be recommended for this species as a conservative measure in the Seychelles. Read Article

 

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