Coastal Fisheries Programme

Number 23 - February 2006


Group Coordinator and Bulletin Editor:
Chantal Conand, Université de La Réunion, Laboratoire de biologie marine, 97715 Saint-Denis Cedex, La Réunion, France. Fax: +262 938166

Information Section, Marine Resources Division, SPC, B.P. D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia. Fax: (687) 263818;

Produced with financial assistance from the European Union through the EU/SPC PROCFish project


This is the 23rd issue of a nearly 16-year-old publication, and I believe the bulletin has now reached its cruising speed with two issues published every year for the last five years. I must thank here the many regular and occasional contributors who helped me make this happen, as well as the dedicated SPC Fisheries Information and Publication Sections‘ staff who work hard behind the scenes to maintain the quality of this publication. The important correspondence included in this issue proves that the bulletin serves well its goal of linking scientists, technicians, fisheries managers and all others with an interest in sea cucumbers, worldwide.

I draw, once again, your attention to the new database of all articles and abstracts published in the bulletin to date. This was put together by SPC’s Fisheries Information Section, and is available on SPC’s website at: The database includes nearly 600 article and abstract titles that can be searched by title, author name(s), scientific name, region or country. Each search result is presented with a hyperlink that allows downloading in pdf format. We hope that it is useful and we would like to improve it through your suggestions.

This issue begins with a short article by Warwick Nash and Christain Ramofafia, from the WorldFish Center. The Solomon Islands Government decided to close its beche-de-mer fishery on 1 December 2005, for an indefinite period. A very difficult decision as the fishery was, as in many other countries, one of the rare cash-income opportunities for remote fishing communities. Nash details the reasons that led to this ban.

The number of topics covered by the articles in this issue, as well as the wide range of geographic places covered, proves that research on holothurians is alive and well: Mendes et al. have studied populations of Holothuria grisea in Brazil; Therkildsen and Petersen describe the emergence of the cold-water Cucumaria frondosa fishery in Canada; Pradina Purwati writes a brief description of the west Lombok holothurian fishery in eastern Indonesia; Purcell and Tekanene report on the changes in colouration and morphology of white teatfish, Holothuria fuscogilva, juveniles in Kiribati, Pacific Ocean; and Spalding tells us about an illegal sea cucumber fishery in the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean. We continue to publish research findings about sea cucumber reproduction. Laxminarayana describes his observations in Mauritius of asexual reproduction by transverse fission of Bohadschia marmorata and Holothuria atra; and Desurmont and Spalding briefly report on their observations of natural spawning in New Caledonia, Pacific Ocean, and the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean.

A new regional multidisciplinary project, with collaboration between biologists and socioeconomists from five countries, and Swedish support has just started in the southwestern Indian Ocean. It is funded by grants from the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (see: and will involve national and regional analyses to improve sea cucumber management (see the article by Conand et al.).

And if you are still doubtful about the variety of holothurian studies, please check the very wide array of topics and places covered in the abstracts we present on pages 39–46.

As usual, this and all previous issues of the bulletin are available in pdf format on SPC’s website at:

Dr Sabine Stöhr, Chief of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, informs us that the Echinoderm Newsletter has a new address (URL). Authors wishing to contribute to the newsletter can contact her at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Finally, please note that, following its usual three-year rhythm, the next Echinoderm Conference will be held in August 2006 on the campus of the University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (USA) (more information can be found at:

Chantal Conand


Recent developments with the sea cucumber fishery in Solomon Islands
Nash W., Ramofafia C. (pdf: 82 KB)
Population patterns and seasonal observations on density and distribution of Holothuria grisea (Holothuroidea:Aspidochirotida) on the Santa Catarina Coast, Brazil
Mendes F.M., Marenzi A.W.C., Di Domenico M. (pdf: 155 KB)
A three-year project on sea cucumbers in the south-western Indian Ocean: National and regional analyses to improve management
Conand C., Muthiga N., Aumeeruddy R., De La Torre Castro M., Frouin P., Mgaya Y., Mirault E., Ochiewo J., Rasolofonirina R. (pdf: 135 KB)
A review of the emerging fishery for the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa: Biology, policy, and future prospects
Therkildsen N.A., Petersen C.W. (pdf: 125 KB)
Souvenir from west Lombok, eastern Indonesia
Purwati P. (pdf: 219 KB)
Ontogenetic changes in colouration and morphology of white teatfish, Holothuria fuscogilva, juveniles in Kiribati
Purcell S., Tekanene M. (pdf: 159 KB)
Illegal sea cucumber fisheries in the Chagos Archipelago
Spalding M.D. (pdf: 229 KB)
Asexual reproduction by induced transverse fission in the sea cucumbers Bohadschia marmorata and Holothuria atra
Laxminarayana A. (pdf: 125 KB)
Observation of natural spawning of Bohadschia vitiensis
Desurmont A. (pdf: 83 KB)

Download the complete publication:

Beche de Mer #23 (pdf: )

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