So, J.J.; Hamel, J.-F.; Mercier, A. (2010). Habitat utilisation, growth and predation of Cucumaria frondosa: implications for an emerging sea cucumber fishery. Fisheries Management And Ecology. 17 (6) 473-484.
P>Biological traits of the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa (Gunnerus) relevant to both ecological and management perspectives were investigated in the Newfoundland region. Abundance, size and fitness of adults were maximal on hard substrates. Larvae settled similar to 5 weeks post-spawning and juveniles reached a maximum length of 6 mm after 24 months. Additional size classes of sea cucumbers kept under natural environmental conditions exhibited slow seasonal growth attuned to phytoplankton blooms, indicating that similar to 25 years may be required to reach market size. Juveniles of the predator sea star Solaster endeca (L.) readily fed upon 1.5-2 mm long sea cucumbers. Predation rates on adult C. frondosa by adult S. endeca were modulated by temperature and biased towards injured specimens, suggesting that trawling may exacerbate predation pressure. The combination of slow growth and high predatory pressure enhanced by fishing activities emphasises the need for precautionary management of this emerging fishery in Atlantic Canada.