Evaluation of nutritional condition of juvenile sandfish (Holothuria scabra)
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It is important to accurately evaluate the wellbeing or nutritional condition of organisms when monitoring the wild stock conditions and improvement in aquaculture techniques; however, reliable nutritional condition indexes have not been established for sea cucumbers. In this study, the effects of starvation on condition factor (body weight / body volume), coelomic fluid constituent (protein, carbohydrate and cholesterol) concentrations and coelomic fluid density were analysed in an attempt to establish a method to determine nutritional condition in juvenile sandfish (Holothuria scabra). Body length, breadth and weight of juveniles produced at the sea cucumber hatchery of the Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, were measured after anaesthetisation with 2% menthol-ethanol. Coelomic fluid protein level was analysed by the bicinchoninic acid method. Carbohydrate level was analysed by the phenol – sulfuric acid method. Cholesterol level was analysed by the Zak method. Coelomic fluid volume and coelomic fluid weight were measured. Starvation caused a concomitant decrease in body length, breadth and weight, resulting in no net change in the condition factor. This result indicated that condition factor cannot be used as a nutritional condition index. Coelomic fluid constituent level could be measured with a small volume of sample (i.e. 10–20 μL). Although no clear pattern was observed in coelomic fluid protein and cholesterol levels during the starvation trial, carbohydrate level increased, as did coelomic fluid density. These results suggest that coelomic fluid density and carbohydrate level may be used as indexes for nutritional condition of sandfish without sacrificing the animal.
Watanabe, S., Zarate, J. M., Lebata-Ramos, M. J. H., & Nievales, M. F. J. (2012). Evaluation of nutritional condition of juvenile sandfish (Holothuria scabra). In C. A. Hair, T. D. Pickering, & D. J. Mills (Eds.), Asia-Pacific tropical sea cucumber aquaculture. Proceedings of an international symposium held in Noumea, New Caledonia, 15-17 February 2011 (ACIAR Proceedings No. 136) (pp. 50-56). Canberra, ACT: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.