Although sea cucumbers have been successfully cultivated for restocking, very little is known about wild juvenile sea cucumber (JSC) settlement, recruitment, growth, population dynamics, natural mortality, or their ecological role. For fishery managers to develop management practices that accelerate the recovery of overfished areas and to increase the survival rate of restocked organisms, they need an understanding of spatial and temporal trends in JSC distribution and abundance, as well as cost-effective recruitment monitoring techniques. We show that wild juvenile giant red sea cucumber (Parastichopus californiens) can be collected using a commercial oyster cultch bag filled with Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) shell. From the collection results, it is clear that location, depth, and substrate influence the settlement of JSC. Using JSC collectors will enable further identification of trends in sea cucumber recruitment and will give a better understanding of the distribution and behavior of JSC in various environments.
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Vol. 30 • No. 1