Coastal Fisheries Programme

Number 21 - February 2005


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


It is a great pleasure to present the 21th issue of the SPC Beche-de-Mer Information Bulletin.

First, I would like to draw your attention to the proceedings and recommendations from the workshop "Advances in Sea Cucumber Aquaculture and Management", which are now available (contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or order from Steven Simpson Books, Melton Street, GB - Melton Constable NR24 2DB, England:

In this issue, several original contributions focus on sea cucumber fisheries. The commercial use of Thelenota rubralineata in the Solomon Islands, a relatively rare species, is presented by Kinch and shows that fishermen exploit other species when traditional ones are overfished.

After six years of uninterrupted legal commercial exploitation, the Galápagos sea cucumber (Isostichopus fuscus) fishery, which is well documented and monitored, is showing signs of severe depletion. This example, presented by Toral-Granda, demonstrates that overexploitation is now a theme of interest.

A new questionnaire dealing with overexploitation and management, following a brief synthesis on overexploitation, is proposed, to Beche-de-Mer readers by Uthicke and Conand with the hopes of stimulating local contributions on the subject.

Madagascar’s sea cucumber fishery is now studied from different points of view (see also the Abstracts section). McVean et al. document the traditional sea cucumber fisheries in southwest Madagascar using a 2002 case study of two villages.

The holothurian fishery in the Seychelles has experienced rapid development during the past seven to eight years. Riaz and Skewes present a resource assessment currently underway, which will examine the holothurian population. The assessment will be used in the preparation of a management plan for the fishery.

In her second contribution to this bulletin, Pouget presents the distribution and abundance of the main sea cucumber species in Mayotte, South West Indian Ocean.

Answers to the different questionnaires — on natural spawning, asexual reproduction and juveniles — show that these themes are relevant and useful to the community. Thanks to the contributors.

Because of the relative scarcity of knowledge obtained through direct observations of juveniles in the wild, Shiell submitted a questionnaire in issue #19 of this bulletin. He summarizes here some information from DB James. It is hoped that responses to the questionnaire will continue, and will be of use in helping to better understand this critical life stage of sea cucumbers.

Desurmont, a regular contributor to the “Observations of Natural Spawning” section, reports on the observation of a mass-spawning event involving — in the same area and at the same time — numerous specimens of Bohadschia vitiensis and an isolated specimen of Holothuria scabra versicolor.

Giraspy and Ivy write about Australia’s first commercial sea cucumber culture hatchery, which officially started operations in May 2003 and is now fully operational.

Friedman describes a visit he made to the sea cucumber hatchery in Tarawa, Kiribati. Despite the interruption of overseas funding for the project in 2001, the local team continued their work and obtained several successful spawnings of white teatfish (Holothuria fuscogilva).

The Swedish Museum of Natural History is currently remodelling its website, which involves temporary changes in the URL. The new address of the Echinoderm Portal is: http://


Chantal Conand  






The commercial use of Thelenota rubralineata in the Solomon Islands
Kinch J. (pdf: 248 KB)
Requiem for the Galápagos sea cucumber fishery?
Toral-Granda M.V. (pdf: 165 KB)
Local examples of beche-de-mer overfishing: An initial summary and request for information
Uthicke S., Conand C. (pdf: 122 KB)
Traditional sea cucumber fisheries in southwest Madagascar: A case-study of two villages in 2002
McVean A.R., Hemery G., Walker R.C.J., Ralisaona B.L.R., Fanning E. (pdf: 145 KB)
Resource assessment of the holothurian populations in the Seychelles
Aumeeruddy R., Skewes T. (pdf: 110 KB)
Abundance and distribution of holothurians on the fringing reef flats of Grande Terre, Mayotte, Indian Ocean
Pouget A. (pdf: 235 KB)
Information on juvenile holothurians: A contribution by Dr D.B. James
James D.B. (pdf: 75 KB)
Observations of natural spawning of Bohadschia vitiensis and Holothuria scabra versicolor
Desurmont A. (pdf: 204 KB)
Australia's first commercial sea cucumber culture and sea ranching project in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia
Giraspy D.A.B., Ivy G. (pdf: 187 KB)
White teatfish at Kiribati sea cucumber hatchery "Local technicians getting them out again"
Friedman K., Tekanene M. (pdf: 318 KB)
CONICYT Project: Development of the cultivation technology of the sea cucumber Athyonidium chilensis, in the Chilean South Central Region
Guisado C. (pdf: 83 KB)

Download the complete publication:

Beche de Mer #21 (pdf: )

   SPC Homepage | Copyright © SPC 2021