|Galapagos Islands: a hotspot of sea cucumber fisheries in Latin America and the Caribbean|
|Toral-Granda, V. (2008). Galapagos Islands: a hotspot of sea cucumber fisheries in Latin America and the Caribbean, 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. 231-253|
|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 sea cucumber fishing activities started in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, in 1991 after the collapse of this venture in mainland Ecuador. Although there is only one species (Isostichopus fuscus) that can be legally harvested in the Galapagos Islands, oriental scouts have promoted the illegal capture of Stichopus horrens, Holothuria kefersteini and H. atra, with no biological or ecological information available for these species. Fishing operations in Galápagos are restricted to the artisanal fishing fleet; however, the current practices fit more with a semi-industrial scale. Fishing for I. fuscus is done by means of small wooden (“pangas”) or fiber glass (“fibras”) boats that will store the catch in mother boats (“botes”); collection of the animals is done using hookah. The catch is boiled on board and then salted and dried in the inhabited ports. All of the catch is sold to middlemen. The fishing for I. fuscus used to be the most important economical activity; however, low catches and recent lack of interest have yielded this fishery of less importance. This activity is regulated by means of a season, total allowable catch, minimum landing size, effort control and spatial and temporal closure, along with the implementation of an adaptive and participatory management plan, incorporating the main stakeholders of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. Nonetheless, despite all efforts, the population status of I. fuscus has follow a similar faith of other sea cucumbers commercially harvested worldwide, and its population is seriously overexploited.