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trepang(trəpăng`): see sea cucumbersea cucumber,
any of the flexible, elongated echinoderms belonging to the class Holothuroidea. Although sea cucumbers have the basic echinoderm radial symmetry (see Echinodermata), they do not have arms like starfish.
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(also bêche-de-mer), the name for several species of marine invertebrates used as food, of the phylum Echinoderma-ta. The group consists of holothurians (sea cucumbers) mainly of the genera Holothuria, Stichopus, and Cucumaria. Trepangs are caught mainly near the Malay Archipelago and the Philippines and near Australia, Asia, Africa, and Europe (Italy). Stichopus japonicus, which measures as much as 40 cm in length, is found off the coast of the USSR, in Petr Velikii Bay, of the Sea of Japan, at depths of 2–50 m.
The trepang is used as food mainly in China and Japan; it is caught in these countries and is also imported from abroad. The annual catch of trepangs in the Pacific Ocean reaches 10,000 quintals. Trepangs are caught by means of special trawls, dredges, nets, and spears; they are also caught by divers. The thick but relatively soft body walls are used as food. The flesh, which has little fat and is rich in proteins, may be eaten fresh or dried and salted.
REFERENCESFedotov, D. M. “Tip iglokozhikh (Echinodermata).” In Rukovodstvopo zoologii, vol. 3, part 2. Moscow, 1951.
Ivanov, A. V. Promyslovye vodnye bespozvonochnye. Moscow, 1955. Pages 200–10.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 2. Moscow, 1968. [26–541–]