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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1489360, 6 pages
Research Article

Biology of Incidental Catch Sea Star Stellaster childreni Gray, 1840 (Echinodermata: Asteroidea), from Malaysian Borneo Exclusive Economic Zone

Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Ruhana Hassan

Received 15 February 2017; Revised 7 May 2017; Accepted 18 May 2017; Published 11 June 2017

Academic Editor: Rajesh Jeewon

Copyright © 2017 Ruhana Hassan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sea star (class Asteroidea, phylum Echinodermata) is one of the most successful marine organisms inhabiting a wide range of habitats. As one of the key stone species, sea stars are responsible for maintaining much of the local diversity of species within certain communities. Malaysian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Resource Survey had been carried out from 16th Aug to 6th Nov 2015 and one of the invertebrate by-catch organisms is sea star Stellaster childreni Gray, 1840. This study documents morphological characters and diet of the sea star, besides providing brief descriptions of the habitats based on particle size analysis and vessel log data sheet. A total of 217 individuals had been examined throughout this study. Fragments of flora and fauna were found in the gut including Mollusca (gastropod, bivalves, and scaphopods), sponge seagrass, and seaweed as well as benthic Foraminifera. Stellaster childreni were found at depth of 45 m to 185 m in the South China Sea off Sarawak Malaysia, with various sea bottom substrata. Approximately 41% of S. childreni were found at a mixture of sandy and muddy substratum, followed by mixture of sandy and coral (19.3%), muddy substratum (17.5%), coral substratum (11.5%), and sandy areas (10.6%). The widely distributed sea star on different types of sea beds suggested healthy deep sea ecosystem; thus Malaysia should explore further potential fisheries resources in the EEZ off Sarawak coast.