PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF THE SEA CUCUMBER HOLOTHURIA ATRA IN PULAU PANJANG, JEPARA
Sea cucumbers (Holothuria atra) are found in the intertidal area of the seaside of a small island in Pulau Panjang waters, Jepara. They occupy a puddle of water from a few centimetres to about one and a half meters at low tide and usually cover themselves with a layer of lightweight coral sand that is held up by a tube foot. Although sometimes naked and black. Naturally, the abundance of sea cucumbers greatly influenced by the availability of natural food (Hartati et al., 2017) and the prospect of occupancy (Dissanayake and Stefansson, 2012).
According to Conand and Muthiga (2007) and Choo (2008), H. atra is classified as a low-value species, but the demand is increasing because the supply of sea cucumbers is considered not high enough. Therefore, to ensure sustainable use of this low value species, appropriate management measures need to be implemented. Information on the biological and ecological nature of Holothuria atra is essential as a basis for sustainable management (Purcell, 2004; Conand and Muthiga, 2007). The status of this species, mainly on Pulau Panjang, Jepara, has not yet been explored. Therefore this study aims to conduct an initial assessment of the population of H. atra in Panjang Island of Jepara.
A three-month survey was carried out by skindiving using swept area methods in two different H. atra habitats in Pulau Panjang waters. Sea cucumber samples are taken, measured in length, and put back into their habitat. The results showed that the density of H. atra in seagrass habitats was higher than in sandy debris with macroalgae habitat, but conversely for long data, H. atra in seagrass habitats were longer than those in sandy debris with algae habitat macro. It shows that there is a close relationship between habitat and ecophysiology of sea cucumber species that live in two different habitats on Pajang Island.
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