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Reproductive biology of Holothuria leucospilota in the Cook Islands and the implications of traditional fishing of gonads on the population

Drumm, D.J. and Loneragan, N.R. (2005) Reproductive biology of Holothuria leucospilota in the Cook Islands and the implications of traditional fishing of gonads on the population. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 39 (1). pp. 141-156.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00288330.2005.9517297
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Abstract

This study describes the reproductive biology of Holothuria leucospilota in Rarotonga, Cook Islands and assesses the effect of traditional fishing on survival and reproduction. Monthly collections of H. leucospilota from January 1998 until March 1999 revealed that gametogenesis and spawning were synchronous between the sexes and spawning occurred annually during the summer months. Spawning during the first year had already started at the beginning of the study in January and lasted until April, whereas in the second year, spawning started in November and finished in February, possibly because of higher water temperatures in this year. Our data indicate that the incision of the body‐wall and gonad removal had no impact on the survival of H. leucospilota in cages. However, their body weight, general sheltering and feeding behaviours were affected by gonad removal. Although the body‐wall of fished animals healed within 7–14 days, the gonads had just started to regenerate after 41 days, suggesting that the spawning of fished individuals would have been greatly delayed, possibly until the following year.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: © The Royal Society of New Zealand 2005
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/11573
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