Coastal Fisheries Programme
BdMLogo Number 29 - June 2009


Group Coordinator and Bulletin Editor:
Igor Eeckhaut, Marine Biology, 6 Av. Champ de Mars, University of Mons-Hainaut, 7000 Mons Belgium.

Information Section, Fisheries Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division, SPC, BP D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia.

Produced with financial assistance from Australia, France and New Zealand


This issue principally includes seven original papers, the list of publications on sea cucumbers by Dr D.B. James and the abstracts about holothuroids presented during the 9th International Echinoderm Conference held in Hobart (Tasmania) in January.

The first paper is from S.W. Purcell et al. They complete the published results of Conand, Skewes and other authors in estimating the change in length and weight, during processing stages, of several tropical commercial species for which data were lacking.

A.D. Morgan reports that survival of larvae of Australostichopus mollis relies on the characteristics of the females laying the eggs and particularly on the number and size of the eggs that the females are able to lay.

P. Purwati et al. show that for Holothuria atra, the natural fission plane may no longer be important in fission inducement and that it could be manipulated. In their induced fission experiments, the survival rate reached almost 100 per cent.

T. Lavitra et al. detail the problems related to the farming of H. scabra in Madagascar and explain how to solve these problems or avoid them completely. New parasites and predators are mentioned and the effects of a drop of salinity occurring after hurricanes are analysed.

M.H. Hassan exposes the stock assessment of holothuroid populations in the Red Sea waters of Saudi Arabia. As has happened elsewhere, sea cucumber traders heavily exploited Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastline for about five years. Consequently, a dangerous depletion in the fishery has resulted with populations of both H. fuscogilva and H. scabra completely destroyed.

In Madagascar, G. Robinson and B. Pascal expose how local communities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private sector stakeholders are working together to pioneer a form of village-based mariculture in which coastal communities raise hatchery-reared juvenile sea cucumbers in simple sea pens.

X. Kun and H. Yang close the articles in presenting a quantitative analysis of the phagocytosis by amoebocytes in Apostichopus japonicus.

In the ‘Communications’ section, M. de la Torre-Castro gives news about the work that her team is doing in Zanzibar (Tanzania), and Z. Ilias informs us about the first assays of grow-out of Stichopus horrens in Malaysia. At the 9th Echinoderm International Conference, 29 presentations (oral and posters) concerned holothuroids; their abstracts are presented here. It is also a pleasure to publish here the list of the publications by Dr D.B. James, who devotes his professional life to sea cucumbers and to the methods used to rear them in aquaculture.

As usual, this and all previous issues of the bulletin are available in PDF format on SPC’s website at: And I'd like to attract your attention to the SPC Fisheries Digital Library, available on SPC’s website ( It gives access to electronic versions (in PDF format) of more than 7300 fisheries- and aquaculture-related documents (in English and French), produced by, for, or in collaboration with SPC. It includes a search engine that allows full-text searches as well as searches by title, author, and year. The search can be limited to one publication, such as this bulletin. For example, a search in full text of the words 'Holothuria AND fuscogilva' limited to the Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin will give links to 106 articles, downloadable in PDF format.

Igor Eeckhaut



Changes in weight and length of sea cucumbers during conversion to processed beche-de-mer: Filling gaps for some exploited tropical species
Purcell S.W., Gossuin H., Agudo N.S. (pdf: 135 KB)
The correlation of attributes of egg source with growth, shape, survival and development in larvae of the temperate sea cucumber Australostichopus mollis
Morgan A.D. (pdf: 355 KB)
Shifting the natural fission plane of Holothuria atra (Aspidochirotida, Holothuroidea, Echinodermata)
Purwati P., Dwiono S.A.P., Indriana L.F., Fahmi V. (pdf: 137 KB)
Problems related to the farming of Holothuria scabra (Jaeger, 1833)
Lavitra T., Rasolofonirina R., Jangoux M., Eeckhaut I. (pdf: 516 KB)
Stock assessment of holothuroid populations in the Red Sea waters of Saudi Arabia
Hasan M.H. (pdf: 85 KB)
From hatchery to community – Madagascar's first village'based holothurian mariculture programme
Robinson G., Pascal B. (pdf: 316 KB)
Phagocytosis by amoebocytes in Apostichopus japonicus
Kun X., Yang H. (pdf: 183 KB)

Communications (pdf: )

Abstracts and new publications (pdf: )

List of publications on sea cucumbers by Dr D.B. James (pdf: )

Download the complete publication:

Beche-de-Mer #29 (pdf: )

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