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Seychelles: a hotspot of sea cucumber fisheries in Africa and the Indian Ocean region
Aumeeruddy, R.; Conand, C. (2008). Seychelles: a hotspot of sea cucumber fisheries in Africa and the Indian Ocean region, in: Toral-Granda, V. et al. (Ed.) (2008). Sea Cucumbers, a global review of fisheries and trade. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper, 516: pp. 195-209
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
Peer reviewed article

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Aumeeruddy, R.
  • Conand, C.

Abstract
    The Seychelles Archipelago, comprising 115 islands, is located in the middle of the Western Indian Ocean and has a large Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ 1.4 millions km2). Sea cucumbers in Seychelles have been fished for more than a hundred years, but the fishery has recently seen a rapid development. Sea cucumbers are mostly collected by divers using SCUBA gear. They are processed for the export market. The population status is presented for the five main species caught (“pentard”, white teatfish, black teatfish, prickly redfish and sandfish) from the estimated stock and the overall density (ind./ha). Catch and effort data have been collected since 1999 by Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA). The data are provided by the fishers as per the requirements of their fishing license conditions. The catch per unit effort (CPUE), expressed in numbers of sea cucumbers collected per diver per day, shows mostly a downward trend. The sea cucumber fishery in Seychelles was open-access until 1999. As part of a recent FAOfunded project, a management plan for the fishery has been prepared, based on the results of the resource assessment. Management measures were established through the Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations (1999) which provided some control over the fishery through licences for fishing and processing. The total allowable catch (TAC) has been calculated, based on the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) for each species. The trade data show that there are three main export markets, with China Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) being largely the dominant one. The socio-economic importance to the local fishing community appears from the three operations of harvesting which relates principally to the collection of the sea cucumbers, processing which involves cleaning and drying of the product, and trading which involves sales to different markets. Finally, recommendations for improving fisheries management and conservation through the involvement of all stakeholders are discussed. Evaluation of the pros and cons of listing in the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is presented. This fishery in Seychelles is an example of recent management showing steps toward a sustainable exploitation of the resources.

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