Coastal Fisheries Programme


Number 36 - March 2016


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

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

Produced with financial assistance from the Australian Government, the European Union, France and the New Zealand Aid Programme.



This 36th issue of the SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin has 13 original articles relating to the biodiversity of sea cucumbers in various areas of the western Indo-Pacific, aspects of their biology, and methods to better study and rear them. We open this issue with an article from Steven Purcell and coworkers on the opportunity of using rotational zoning systems to manage multispecies sea cucumber fisheries. These systems are used, with mixed results, in developed countries for single-species fisheries but have not been tested for small-scale fisheries in the Pacific Island countries and other developing areas.

The four articles that follow, deal with biodiversity. The first is from Frédéric Ducarme, who presents the results of a survey conducted by an International Union for Conservation of Nature mission on the coral reefs close to Ari Atoll in Maldives. This study increases the number of holothurian species recorded in Maldives to 28. Chantal Conand and colleagues detail the distribution of holothurians in the shallow lagoons of the two marine parks of Mauritius, and compare it to previous studies. Quratulan Ahmed and coworkers give some new insights into the knowledge of holothurians from Pakistan. And, finally, Vadim Stepanov and Elena Panina provide a checklist of holothurians from far eastern Russia.

The two following articles relate to juveniles and natural nurseries. Luca Palazzo and colleagues report their discovery and identification of Stichopus herrmanni nursery sites on Heron Reef (Great Barrier Reef, Australia); while Philippe Bourjon and Elisabeth Morcel describe 70 observations of juvenile holothurians made in 2014 and 2015 on Réunion reefs.

The ninth and tenth articles detail particular aspects of holothurian biology. Philippe Bourjon and Sébastien Vasquez provide an excellent description (and a link to a superb movie) of predation of the gastropod Tonna perdix on Actinopyga echinites. Kier Mitchel Pitogo and colleagues surveyed the size distribution of a Holothuria scabra population during full moon and new moon phases for four months to evaluate the intertidal population of this species in the Philippines. The results suggest that lunar phases have an effect on the size distribution of H. scabra, which explains the larger individuals collected by intertidal gleaners during a new moon.

The last four articles are about aquaculture methods, beche-de-mer processing, and a method for marking holothurians. Andrea Taylor reports on a modification to Purcell and coworkers’ original marking method, to improve efficiency and reduce the likelihood of sample loss and cross-contamination. Steven Purcell and colleagues evaluate the postharvest processing of sea cucumbers, and compare methods used by fishers and commercial processors from Fiji, Kiribati and Tonga. Devarajen Vaintiligon and coworkers report on the production of H. scabra in a hatchery established in Malaysia, which is the result of a fruitful collaboration between the Malaysian government and an Australian-based private company. Finally, Fidèle Rakotonjanahary and colleagues describe the results of experiments to optimise juvenile growth in nursery ponds.

This issue also reports on new observations of juvenile black teatfish in Maldives (Michael Sweet et al.) and Actinopyga juveniles in Réunion (Bourjon and Morcel). Cathy Hair and her colleagues observed multispecies spawning in Papua New Guinea, and Wensy Vergana and others describe the poorly known Carapus bermudensis that infests Isostichopus badionotus on the Colombian Caribbean coast.

The last section of this issue includes communications about workshops and conferences that were held in 2015 and some that will take place in 2016. In addition, Poh-Sze Choo and colleagues give us the recipe for a salad (kerabu) dish that includes raw sea cucumber (beronok) and is popularly eaten on Langkawi Island in Malaysia; Igor Eeckhaut and Nathan Puozzo introduce a computer program designed for better understanding the body plans of metazoans, including holothurians; and Hal Koike reports incidents involving possible overharvesting of sea cucumbers in Hawaii and serious Apostichopus japonicus poaching in Japan. We close this 36th issue of the Bulletin with a request from Chantal Conand for information on illegal sea cucumber fisheries.

Congratulations are expressed to Mélanie Demeuldre who completed her PhD titled “Defence mechanisms in sea cucumbers: Morphology, biochemistry and mechanics of Cuvierian tubules in two species from the genus Holothuria”. Last but not least, I want to thank our extraordinary and tireless Chantal Conand, without whom this issue would not have been produced.

Igor Eeckhaut

P.S. In line with a worldwide trend to limit the impact of producing printed publications on the environment, SPC has decided to stop the production and distribution of printed copies of this and other information bulletins. The bulletins will now only be produced in digital format and remain accessible from SPC’s website.



Rotational zoning systems in multi-species sea cucumber fisheries
Purcell S.W., Eriksson H., Byrne M. (pdf: 647 KB)
Field observations of sea cucumbers in Ari Atoll, and comparison with two nearby atolls in Maldives
Ducarme F. (pdf: 262 KB)
Distribution of holothurians in the shallow lagoons of two marine parks of Mauritius
Conand C., Rai Y.B., Hurbungs M.D., Koonjul M., Paupiah C.N., Mohit R.D.C., Quod J.-P. (pdf: 298 KB)
New additions to the holothurian fauna of Pakistan: Holothuria verrucosa, Holothuria cinerascens and Ohshimella ehrenbergii
Ahmed Q., Mohammad Ali Q., Conand C. (pdf: 377 KB)
A checklist of the holothurians of the far eastern seas of Russia
Stepanov V.G.,Panina E.G. (pdf: 210 KB)
Discovery and description of Stichopus herrmanni juvenile nursery sites on Heron Reef, Great Barrier Reef
Palazzo L., Wolfe K., Byrne M. (pdf: 327 KB)
New observations of holothurian juveniles on Réunion reefs
Bourjon P. , Morcel E. (pdf: 759 KB)
Predation by the gastropod Tonna perdix (Gastropoda: Tonnoidea) on the holothurian Actinopyga echinites (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) on a reef of Réunion
Bourjon P., Vasquez S. (pdf: 669 KB)
Effect of lunar phases in the size distribution of Holothuria scabra on intertidal areas in Sarangani Bay, Philippines
Pitogo K.M.E., Sumin J.P., Ortiz A.T. (pdf: 243 KB)
A modified method for processing fluorescently marked sea cucumber ossicles
Taylor A. (pdf: 154 KB)
Variation in postharvest processing of sea cucumbers by fishers and commercial processors among three Pacific Island countries
Purcell S.W., Ngaluafe P., Aram K.T., Lalavanua W. (pdf: 550 KB)
Sea cucumber hatchery seed production in Malaysia: From research and development, to pilot-scale production of the sandfish Holothuria scabra
Vaitilingon D., Smith S., Watson G., Miller T., Alattas S., Ong Hock K., Zainoddin J., Zaidnuddin I., Azhar H. (pdf: 695 KB)
Assays for optimising the growth of Holothuria scabra juveniles during the nursery phase
Rakotonjanahary F., Lavitra T.,Fohy N. and Eeckhaut I. (pdf: 392 KB)
Juvenile “black teatfish” in Maldives
Sweet M., Ducarme F. and Conand C. (pdf: 185 KB)
Observations of juvenile Actinopyga echinites and Actinopyga mauritiana (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) near the reef crest in a lagoon of Réunion
Bourjon P. , Morcel E. (pdf: 312 KB)
Multi-species sea cucumber spawning at Limellon Island, New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea
Hair C., Bitalen P., Kanawi P., Leini E., Southgate P. (pdf: 438 KB)
Observations of Carapus bermudensis (Carapidae) in Isostichopus badionotus (Stichopodidae) from Taganga Bay, Colombia
Vergara W., Agudelo V., Rodríguez A. (pdf: 173 KB)
Anon. (pdf: 557 KB)
Général Communications
Anon. (pdf: 693 KB)


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