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Información del Artículo

Population structure, distribution and abundance of three commercial species of sea cucumber (echinodermata) in Panamá
En: CARIBBEAN JOURNAL OF SCIENCE, 38 (3-4) Dec. 2002: 230-238. bibl. gráf. tabla.
Revista: Caribbean journal of science, vol. 38, núm. 3-4; Dec. 2002
Resumen: Overfishing due to high demand in Asian markets, have encouraged illegal fisheries of sea cucumbers in non-tradicional areas of the tropical Caribbean. This work assesses the population structure, distribution, and abudance of three commercially important Caribbean species (Isostichopus badinotus, Holothuria mexicana, and Astichopus multifidus) in 47 158 hectares of shallow habitats in Bocas del Toro (Panamá), from May to October 2000. Mean size class distribution was unimodal; 26.5 cm. in I. badionotus and 16 cm in H. mexicana, and dominated by adult individuals of 25-30 cm for both species. Body wall wet weight (gutted)showed a similar disbribution, with a higher number of individuals between 200-300 g, but with a lower mean in I. badionotus (214 g) than in H. mexicana (258g). A total of 6017 individuals of H. mexicana, 4431 I. badionotus and 208 A. multifidus were quantified, with mean densities of 161.8 ind/ha, 117.4 ind./ha., and 4.9 ind./ha respectively. Based on these results and the total area of the archipelago, we estimated a stock of 7 630 164 individuals for H. mexicana, 5 536 349 for I. badionotus, and 231 074 for A. multifidus. This assessment is discouraging because during 1997 30-day legal fishing period, a catch of ca 750 000 holothuroids was estimated for the archipelago.
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