The Harvesting Of Sea Cucumbers In The Galapagos Islands

1654 words - 7 pages

The Harvesting of Sea Cucumbers in the Galapagos Islands

Sea cucumbers in the Galapagos are being fished out illegally in spite of a four-year ban that is unsuccessfully enforced by the Ecuadorian government. Most sea cucumbers are dried and exported to Taiwan and Hong Kong. The waters off of mainland Ecuador have already been stripped of commercially valuable sea cucumbers. The controversy in the Galapagos involves the inability to sustain sea cucumber harvesting, and that the removal of millions of sea cucumbers will have detrimental effects on the food chain in the waters of the Galapagos. (Sullivan, 1999) Aside from the ecological damage, it is feared that these fishermen will go after other, rarer species when the sea cucumbers are depleted. (Stutz, 1995) It has been proposed to raise sea cucumber in captivity, but difficulties exist, such as locating the sexually mature sea cucumbers, the timing of mating the animals, providing the necessary food for the larvae, and then releasing the sea cucumbers at the right time. (Cohn, 1996)
The sea cucumber, or Cucumaria frondosa, make up the class Holothuroidae, of the phylum Echinodermata. The sea cucumber is related to the starfish, and can be described as big slug-like blobs. Sea cucumbers have a rubbery-like, warty body and their length can range from 0.8 inches to 6.5 feet. They have tube-like feet that project from underneath them and give them the sluggish caterpillar-like contractions as they move. Sea cucumbers breathe through branched respiratory tubes, or trees that go from the cloaca to the body cavity. The cloaca contract, forcing water into the respiratory. The water is emptied into the body cavity and mixes with body fluids and supplies the sea cucumber with oxygen. (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2000)
Sea cucumbers have a very important role in nature and maintaining the ecological balance in the sea. They prey on a variety of small organisms, which aids in controlling the population of these organisms. Decaying matter on the seafloor is food for the sea cucumber. The sea cucumber ingests seafloor sediments by swallowing large quantities, passing it through the intestine, and ejects the remainder. A large population of sea cucumbers within an area can process large quantities of sediments, and substantially change the composition of the sediments. (Encyclopædia Britannica Online) The sea cucumber in the sea can be compared to the earthworm on land, as they turnover bottom sediments that helps to free nutrients. The sea cucumbers' sperm, eggs, and larvae are an important source of food for organisms ranging from single-celled animals to fish. Sea cucumbers can account for 90% of the biomass.
The high demand for the sea cucumber can be attributed to it being a gourmet delicacy in Asia, and is considered to be an aphrodisiac as well as having medicinal properties such as being a treatment for high blood pressure. (Sitwell, 1993) The sea cucumbers'...

Find Another Essay On The Harvesting of Sea Cucumbers in the Galapagos Islands

Longevity of Galapagos Islands Giant Tortoises

1037 words - 4 pages could not have imagined the possibility of her outliving her human caretakers to such a degree (Franklin 45). Her longevity however, is not unique. The giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands have repeatedly demonstrated an increased lifespan due to their unique body structure, diet, and lifestyle. The Galapagos Islands provide a habitat to one of only two known remaining groups of giant tortoises in existence today (Alderton 151). Scientists

China and Japan: Bickering over the Uninhabited Islands in the East China Sea

1391 words - 6 pages Tensions have risen drastically between China and Japan, both claiming ownership of the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. These two states, both want control of the islands, since the discovery of undersea oil reserves which the islands possess. The dispute intensified once the United States transferred administrative control of the islands to Japan in 1971, this sovereignty widely contested by China. This dispute is current but is best

Decolonization in the Hawaiian Islands

1010 words - 4 pages ." (Stannard, 383) These events took place in Hawaii, the first day of Hawaii's history began in 1778 when Captain Cook arrived in the islands, it some how slipped the mind of the historians that the Hawaiian people were there long before, living in a peaceful coexistence with the land. The Hawaiians were further depicted as "thieves" like the rest of the "people in Polynesia," and plagued with the barbaric accusation of committing infanticide

History of The Marshall Islands

1766 words - 7 pages began in theearly sixteenth century. The sea going Europeans were trying to find sources of the SpiceIslands that were in very large demand in Europe. English, Dutch, Spanish andPortuguese sea captains were all sailing around on their hunt for riches. One of the firstpeople we know of to definitely land on the Marshall Islands during this time isFerdinand Magellan. He landed in Micronesia on his journey to circumnavigate theworld. Forty years later

One of the Largest Islands in the Caribbean: Jamaica

2539 words - 11 pages Xamayca, also known as Jamaica, is one of the largest Islands in the Caribbean. In this essay I found some pretty interesting things I didn’t know about Jamaica. I hope you read and enjoy it as much as I did researching and writing about one of the most visited countries. It originally home was the home of the Arawak and Taino Indians. They were mostly an agriculturally based society that grew corn, sweet potatoes, cotton, and tobacco

The Natural History of the Galapagos Written by Ian Thornton

1511 words - 6 pages evolution after he had spent time in the Galapagos Islands. While he was in the Galapagos Islands Darwin had noticed a specific breed of birds, these birds were known as the Galapagos Finches. What Charles had specifically noticed about the Galapagos finches was that the finches were made up of many different species; it was obvious that these birds were all related but each species had a specific variation. For example the birds would have different

Physical attributes and atmosphere of Galapagos Islands. Speaks of Mellville and Darwin

968 words - 4 pages During the nineteenth century, two prominent writers, Herman Melville and Charles Darwin both voyaged to the Galapagos islands off the coast of Ecuador. Both of these individuals wrote descriptive passages about the physical attributes and atmosphere of the Galapagos Islands. The passages vary in specific content due to the intentions and interests of the respective authors, even though the object described is the same. Charles Darwin, best

Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting in Residential Homes

2132 words - 9 pages ). Causing large amounts of sediment to flow into rivers effecting the overall health in a negative way. By intercepting the amount of rainfall and using it in a home before it enters into a sewer system positively affects the environment. With the use of a rainwater harvesting system will help balance out the amount of rainwater entering the sewer system. With the use of rainwater harvesting systems clean water can be used throughout the home and

Culture of America and The British Islands

5458 words - 22 pages 1.Explain the terms: the British Isles, the British Islands, Great Britain, the United KingdomThe British isles - archipelago consisting of over6,600 islands - geographical conceptThe British Islands - all states in the British Isles with the British monarch as head of stateGreat Britain - the name of the largest island or historical/cultural conceptUnited Kingdom - the official name of one of countries in the British Isles2.Name the present-day

The Caribbean Islands

1205 words - 5 pages "(Mintz 19). make it very difficult to characterize the Caribbean as a "cultural" area. Benitez-Rojo agrees with this idea, also rejecting the idea that the Caribbean is a "cultural" area. According to Mintz, the Caribbean is similar in social-structural features rather than cultural ones. In his analysis of the Caribbean, he organizes the commonalties of the region using nine distinct features, which bind the islands of the Caribbean into a major

Power of the Sea

1269 words - 6 pages Is man ever in control of the natural world? Or are we only ever in a temporary contract with it? We see pictures of towns being swallowed whole by the sea on news, renewing the balance of power between man and nature. Man for years has struggled in its relationship with nature, and at one time attempting to give gifts of sacrifice to control weather or like today, attempting to gain control through manipulative science. In John Millington

Similar Essays

Depletion Of The Sea Cucumber Population In The Galapagos Islands

1638 words - 7 pages species have been found and recorded. The Galapagos Islands have also been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site; which has led to the protection of terrestrial and marine wildlife. The Galapagos Islands are also home to a small human population which is dependent on the tourism and fishing industries. More specifically, sea cucumber fishing is a lucrative career to many residents of the Galapagos Islands. The profitability of sea cucumbers in

The Galapagos Islands Essay

1773 words - 7 pages by a warming of sea temperature, rise in sea level, and depletion of nutrients. The Galapagos Islands hold a very extensive history marked by constant changes in reasons for people using them. The first documented discovery of the islands occurred in 1535 when Fray Tomas de Berlanga of Panama accidentally came cross them while attempting to sail from Peru back to Panama. There is much controversy however in regards to the truth behind him

The Galapagos Islands Essay

2000 words - 8 pages ). By preserving the unique biodiversity of the Galapagos, the communities of animals on the islands will, in turn, be more lucrative. As the variety of life increases in a community, there will be more organisms to fulfill the ecological duties that are presented by each niche in the ecosystem. This results in each of the responsibilities of the niches to be completed with maximum potential, making the ecosystem productive and advantageous. The

Comparing The Old And Present Galapagos Islands

1173 words - 5 pages of surveying the South American coast, the Beagle reached San Cristobal (Chatham) in September 1835. The Beagle spent 5 weeks in the Galapagos carefully charting the archipelago. Fitz Roy's chart was remarkably accurate and remained in use until the U.S.S. Bowditch recharted the area in 1942.In the meantime, Darwin made careful observations about both the geology and biology of the islands. Darwin was particularly struck by the" differences