Coastal Fisheries Programme


Number 40 - March 2020


Group Coordinator and Bulletin Editor:
Igor Eeckhaut, Biology of Marine Organisms and Biomimetics, 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 40th issue of the SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin includes 15 original articles and scientific observations from a wide variety of regions around the world. We begin with an article by Di Simone et al., discussing the recent addition of three Holothuriidae species (teatfish: Holothuria fuscogilva, H. nobilis and H. whitmaei) to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) Appendix 2. Di Simone and her colleagues note that this first “listing” for holothurians will probably be closely monitored to determine whether CITES is the right instrument for their conservation.

Andréfouët and Tagliaferro made a comparative assessment of sea cucumber communities in the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Fakarava Reserve of French Polynesia and in the Entrecasteaux group of the Lagoons of New Caledonia World Heritage Area. These two UNESCO-listed areas only include atolls, and the period of the study (2012–2013) was timely as it marked the official end of recent exploitations in both areas. The authors conclude that, compared with many sites in the Pacific, these atolls still harboured significant sea cucumber populations. They call for periodic holothurian surveys in the areas to estimate the possible impact of illegal or controlled legal exploitation since the period of the survey.

Eeckhaut et al. estimated the impact of predation by the crab Thalamita crenata on sea cucumber juveniles in a sea farming site in Madagascar. Their results show that predation by T. crenata is a key parameter to take into account when developing sandfish (Holothuria scabra) farming. Rogers et al. report on the first visual documentation that sea turtles prey on sea cucumbers on a reef in Belize. Purcell et al.  examined and recorded the incidence of ectocommensal organisms on more than 60 hosts (including Thelenota anax and Stichopus vastus) collected at several sites around Lizard Island, on the northern Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Mezali and Slimane-Tamacha describe a survey to better understand the rapidly developing sea cucumber fisheries in the Algerian territory. They conclude with a call for the urgent implementation of nine measures to manage the fishery.

Also in Algerian waters, Belbachir and Mezali studied the diet of Holothuria poli for four seasons in order to define the variation of the different trophic sources used by this sea cucumber species. They note that several species of sea cucumbers can share the same habitat because they do not all use the same elements of the sediment for food.

Some holothurian species have been recorded for the first time in Pakistan through two studies, the first from Moazzam and Moazzam and the second from Quratulan and Qader. New records are also reported from Algeria by Benzait et al. and from Mayotte by Mulochau and Conand.

Asexual reproduction of two sea cucumber species was studied by Borrero-Pérez in the Caribbean and Borrero-Pérez and Vanegas in the eastern Pacific. Desbiens and Wolfe report some observations on Stichopus juveniles on a coral reef in Palau, and Hartley et al. provide great photos of the spawning of Astichopus mollis at its northernmost subtropical locality.

Also included are various communications, some about workshops and conferences that were held in 2019. Congratulations are expressed to Farah Slimane-Tamacha who presented her PhD titled “Sea cucumbers of the Holothuroiida order from the Ain Franine region (west coast of Algeria): Biology, ecology and exploitation” on 8 December 2019 at University Abdelhamid Ibn Badis, Mostaganem, Algeria.

We deeply regret the premature death of Professor Francour who was one of the pioneers in the study of sea cucumbers in the Mediterranean. A research team from the Abdelhamid Ibn Badis University in Algeria has written a touching tribute to Prof Francour that we reproduce in this issue.




Three species of teatfish to be protected by CITES
Di Simone M., Horellou A., Conand C. (pdf: 155 KB)
A comparison of commercial sea cucumber communities in the French Polynesia and New Caledonia atolls listed as UNESCO Man and Biosphere and World Heritage Areas
Andréfouët S., Tagliaferro A. (pdf: 809 KB)
Impact of Thalamita crenata (Decapoda; Portunidae) predation on Holothuria scabra juvenile survival in sea farming pens
Eeckhaut I., Février J., Todinanahary G., Delroisse J. (pdf: 468 KB)
Loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta found preying on a sea cucumber on a reef in Belize
Rogers A., Caal W., Hamel J.-F. Mercier A. (pdf: 641 KB)
Ectocommensals of the stichopodid sea cucumbers Thelenota anax and Stichopus vastus on the northern Great Barrier Reef.
Purcell S.W., Hammond A., Meyers L. (pdf: 321 KB)
The status of Algeria’s sea cucumbers and their illegal trade
Mezali K., Slimane-Tamacha F. (pdf: 614 KB)
Annotated checklist of sea cucumbers from Pakistan with new records of Holothuria (Theelothuria) hamata (Pearson, 1913) and Stichopus herrmanni (Semper, 1868)
Moazzam M., Moazzam N. (pdf: 725 KB)
Holothurians from Pakistan: New addition of Holothuria (Theelothuria) notabilis (Ludwig, 1875) and rediscovery of Actinocucumis typica (Ludwig, 1875) from the Karachi coast, northern Arabian Sea
Ahmed Q., Ali Q.M. (pdf: 457 KB)
Note on Parastichopus regalis (Cuvier, 1817) from the Sidi-Medjdoub area of Mostaganem, Algeria
Benzait H., Khodja I., Soualili D.L., Mezali K. (pdf: 495 KB)
First occurrence of the species Holothuria coronopertusa in Mayotte, in the Indian Ocean
Mulochau T., Delamarre C., Conand C. (pdf: 558 KB)
Observations of asexual reproduction of Holothuria (Platyperona) parvula (Selenka, 1867) in the Caribbean Sea
Borrero-Pérez G.H. (pdf: 306 KB)
First record of asexual reproduction of Holothuria (Mertensiothuria) hilla (Lesson, 1830) in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean
Borrero-Pérez G.H., Vanegas M.J. (pdf: 210 KB)
Observations of juvenile Stichopus sp. on a coral reef in Palau
Desbiens A., Wolfe K. (pdf: 342 KB)
Spawning of Australostichopus mollis at its northernmost subtropical locality
Hartley S.L., Purcell S.W., Rowe F.W.E. (pdf: 599 KB)
Anon. (pdf: 698 KB)


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