Sea Stars and Sea Cucumbers
If you havd been coming to The Abacos for several years or grew up in Abaco you would have noticed in the past 10 years a serious decline in certain sea life.
Yes, our sea turtles are returning in wonderful numbers, since it became illegal to kill turtles, but some other species have noticibly been missing.
When was the last time you saw a Sea Star, a Sea Cucumber or Sand Dollar for that matter?
They all used to be plentiful and one couldn't go 100 feet without seeing one of these in the shallows.
Why are they dwindling? Who are their predators?
It is known that Sea Cucumbers are a delicacy in Asia. Is this a result from Bahamas and China relations?
I have yet to hear reports of people harvesting sea cucumbers in our waters so one must look at possible natural
When looking at natural predators of sea cucumbers and sea stars they share some common threats. Turtles are a big one for both along with crabs and other fish etc. But it makes one wonder, could the rebound of more turtles possibly have an affect on our sea stars and sea cucumber populations?
Maybe this is something we can request local environment groups to research, as we all know, it's never good for our environment to see a particular species decline, even if it's one we don't consume ourselves (or are particularly attractive) it always serves a purpose in keeping the balance in our ecosystems. Hopefully a research into this decline can be done to bring some insight on what may be causing them to decline.
Let's all help and do our part to keep our waters clean and healthy!