|Population status, fisheries and trade of sea cucumbers in Africa and The Indian Ocean|
Conand, C. (2008). Population status, fisheries and trade of sea cucumbers in Africa and The Indian Ocean, in: Toral-Granda, V. et al. (Ed.) Sea Cucumbers, a global review of fisheries and trade. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper, 516: pp. 143-193
In: Toral-Granda, V.; Lovatelli, A.; Vasconcellos, M. (Ed.) (2008). Sea Cucumbers, a global review of fisheries and trade. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper, 516. FAO: Rome, Italy. ISBN 978-92-5-106079-7. 317 pp., more
In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper. FAO/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Rome. ISSN 2070-7010, more
The region covered in this review is very diverse, including four FAO Fishing Areas and 30 countries. Sea cucumber fisheries presently exist in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), where 16 countries have been documented, and in the Eastern Indian Ocean (EIO), with two countries covered in this review. The fisheries are for the dried product (“trepang” or “bêche-de-mer”) which is consumed by Chinese populations and have a long history dating back to the ninteenth century. Nearly thirty species are presently exploited (23 Holothuriidae; 6 Stichopodidae), with commercial value varying among species. Several differences in species composition between the Indian and tropical Pacific region have been shown recently, such as the teatfish H. whithmei found only in the Pacific, and H. notabilis and H. spinifera in the Indian Ocean. The main information on the population status, reproductive biology and ecology of the commercially important species is synthesized in the present document. In 12 out of the 30 countries in the region the resource appears to be overexploited or fully exploited. Sea cucumbers are harvested and processed in different ways throughout the region, varying from small-scale, artisanal to semi-industrial activities. Globally, and according to FAO statistics, the region produces at least 1/3 of the world dried sea cucumber products. There are several national management measures, including total bans; however, these seem to be insufficient for a sustainable use of the resources. The trade is characterised by exports from the producer countries, imports in “intermediate” (e.g. Yemen, Dubai) and final markets, where the key role of China Hong Kong SAR is most apparent. Illegal trade remains a problem in many countries. The socio-economic aspects essential in small-scale fisheries are presented for several countries. Finally, several current projects in fisheries, or aquaculture as an alternative measure, are detailed. In conclusion, the need for co-management, the improvement of the export statistics and the implementation of sustainable use are discussed.