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Sea Hare in the Pacific

Sea hares are marine species which greatly resembles with that of a sea slug. This species usually crawls and swims across a coral reef. When attacked or disturbed, they squirt a copious protective secretion in the mantle cavity of their “purple gland”. These creatures spend more portion of their life trough feeding and copulating, and graze almost exclusively on seaweeds. They highly contribute to the equilibrium in marine cycle.

Pujada Bay is located at Southern part in Mindanao, City of Mati, Philippines. It has one of the richest coastal areas in the Island. Pujada Bay possesses abundant resources in the field of marine resources. The presence of different flora and fauna within the Bay is of great help to the people living in the area by giving them food and income. One of the fauna that exhibits high habitat diversity, existence and distribution along the coastal area of the Pujada Bay is the sea hare (Dolabella auricularia). Settlers along Pujada Bay especially in Guang-Guang coastal area has an extraordinary biological apportion of these resources. Thus, rapid consumption of these marine resources resulted on gradual depletion. Such status prompts many other marine studies to save this species in extinction.

Previous studies about resource assessment of the said species in the selected areas of Pujada Bay, Mati Davao Oriental Mindanao Philippines, showed that in every individuals of sea hare found in every sampling, there were 21 bunches of its egg strings that was also found in the area. The result of the study simply shows that, the area, being an abundant source of these marine species is more likely abundant in egg string too. The vernacular name of sea hare egg string is “lukot” which literally means, “to unite by twisting or by interlacing.” It is known as the “marine spaghetti” of the Philippines. Some of the Filipinos eat such sea food raw as “kinilaw” which is “cooked” in vinegar, sliced onions, ginger and chili. Other residents who live nearby the sea shore collects sea hare egg strings and sold it in the market. Such gleaning activities are one of the factors that could cause poor recruitment of sea hare, while egg strings are being harvested even before they become adult. Egg strings are the fundamental element of the productiveness of an adult sea hare. Poor knowledge about the preservation of egg strings may lead into extinction of these species. The conduct of marine studies especially on the fecundity and characterization of egg string in the area is necessary. This may give advance information or knowledge on how to minimize egg string gleaning, in the possibility that gleaners will already be aware on how this “eggs” contributes to the preservation of sea hare itself.



Source by Clariss A.

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