Coastal Fisheries Programme


Number 39 - March 2019


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

Pacific Community, Fisheries Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division, Information Section, 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 issue of the Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin is well supplied with 15 articles that address various aspects of the biology, fisheries and aquaculture of sea cucumbers from three major oceans.

Lee and colleagues propose a procedure for writing guidelines for the standard identification of beche-de-mer in Solomon Islands. Andréfouët and colleagues assess commercial sea cucumber populations in French Polynesia and discuss several recommendations specific to the different archipelagos and islands, in the view of new management decisions. Cahuzac and others studied the reproductive biology of Holothuria species on the Mahé and Amirantes plateaux in the Seychelles during the 2018 northwest monsoon season. Bourjon and Quod provide a new contribution to the knowledge of holothurian biodiversity on La Réunion, with observations on two species that are previously undescribed. Eeckhaut and colleagues show that skin ulcerations of sea cucumbers in Madagascar are one symptom of different diseases induced by various abiotic or biotic agents. This particular article describes how sediments ingested by Holothuria scabra can induce skin ulcerations when they are enriched with different types of organic matter.

Hamel and others document the extension of the distribution range of the pea crab Holotheres semperi associated with the sea cucumber Holothuria scabra off the island of Rempang in Indonesia. Ruffez describes a mission in Viet Nam to investigate the safety of fishers who dive for sea cucumbers. Calderon-Aguilera shows that the mean density of sea cucumbers has decreased more than five times in the Gulf of California, Mexico, from 2007 to 2016, and suggests that this reduction is largely due to illegal fishing.

Four articles relate to research conducted on Mediterranean sea cucumbers. Slimane-Tamacha and colleagues studied the reproductive biology of the aspidochirotid sea cucumber Holothuria poli at Kristel Bay in Algeria. Sellem and others determined which species of sea cucumbers were living in two lagoon ecosystems on Tunisia’s coastline. Recommendations and management proposals are suggested towards this eventual fishery. Domínguez-Godino summarises the main results of his PhD on the aquaculture of H. arguinensis. His PhD was supervised by Mercedes González-Wangüemert. Mecheta and Mezali analysed the biometry, and the amount of water and the effects of pepsin digestion on the dry body in three economically important sea cucumber species that are common in the waters of Algeria in order to highlight their economic and nutritional values. Neghli and Mezali provide an overview of the sea cucumber fishery in Algeria and propose recommendations before opening that fishery.

Finally, the article by Simone and colleagues explains a proposal to list some teatfishes on Appendix II of the Convention of the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Also included are several communications: one about spawning observations in Australia, and others on workshops and conferences that were held in 2018 and those that will take place in 2019. Congratulations are expressed to Jorge Antonio Dominguez-Godino, Nor-Eddine Belbachir and Woo Sau Pinn who presented their PhD work on sea cucumbers.




Towards producing a standard grade identification guide for beche-de-mer in Solomon Islands
Lee S., Iro F., Govan H., Bertram I. (pdf: 300 KB)
An assessment of commercial sea cucumber populations in French Polynesia just after the 2012 moratorium
Andréfouët S., Tagliaferro A., Chabran-Poete L., Campanozzi-Tarahu J., Tertre F., Haumani G., Stein A. (pdf: 523 KB)
Size at sexual maturity of the flower teatfish Holothuria (Microthele) sp. in the Seychelles
Cahuzac S., Conand C., Govinden R., Ebrahim A., Marie S., Léopold M. (pdf: 392 KB)
Contribution to the knowledge of holothurian biodiversity at Reunion Island: Two previously unrecorded dendrochirotid sea cucumbers species (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea)
Bourjon P., Quod J.-P (pdf: 209 KB)
Skin ulcerations in Holothuria scabra can be induced by various types of food
Eeckhaut I., Van Wayenberghe K., Nicolas F., Delroisse J. (pdf: 341 KB)
Note on the pea crab Holotheres semperi (Bürger, 1895) parasitising the sea cucumber Holothuria scabra in Rempang, Indonesia
Hamel J.-F., Ng P.K.L., McCurry S., Mercier A. (pdf: 196 KB)
Are Vietnamese fisher-divers aware of the need to preserve their health and maritime environment?
Ruffez J., AFEPS (pdf: 238 KB)
Illegal fishing of the sea cucumber Isostichopus fuscus is rampant in the Gulf of California, Mexico
Calderon-Aguilera L.E. (pdf: 241 KB)
Reproductive biology of Holothuria (Roweothuria) poli (Holothuroidea: Echinodermata) from Oran Bay, Algeria
Slimane-Tamacha F., Lila Soualili D., Mezali K. (pdf: 678 KB)
Sea cucumber species from Mediterranean lagoon environments (Tunisia western and eastern Mediterranean)
Sellem F., Guetat F., Enaceur W., Ghorbel-Ouannes A., Othman A., Harki M., Lakuireb A., Rafrafi S. (pdf: 222 KB)
Holothuria arguinensis: A new sea cucumber species for aquaculture
Domínguez-Godino J.A., González-Wangüemert M. (pdf: 307 KB)
A biometric study to determine the economic and nutritional value of sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea: Echinodermata) collected from Algeria’s shallow water areas
Mecheta A., Mezali K. (pdf: 244 KB)
Algeria’s sea cucumber fishery: Challenges for a new fishery
Neghli L., Mezali K. (pdf: 254 KB)
Towards a CITES listing of teatfish
Di Simone M., Horellou A., Conand C. (pdf: 199 KB)
Observation of mass spawning of the sea cucumber Holothuria coluber at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Huertas V., Byrne M. (pdf: 206 KB)
Other spawning observations
Byrne M., Allen J., Kingsford M., Huertas V. (pdf: 290 KB)
Anon. (pdf: 424 KB)


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