Population status, fisheries and trade of sea cucumbers in Asia

This regional review on the population status, fisheries and trade of commercially important sea cucumbers in Asia covers the east and southeast Asian regions including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Viet Nam, Philippines, Singapore, the Spratly Islands, Japan, Democratic People’s Republic Korea, Republic of Korea, Far East Russian Federation, China Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Taiwan Province of China (PC).

Settlement preferences and early migration of the tropical sea cucumber Holothuria scabra.

The aim of this research was to identify factors that induced metamorphosis of H. scabra doliolaria larvae into pentactulae and their subsequent settlement. We also studied settlement behaviour and determined that larvae have the ability to discriminate among several natural and artificial substrates. Finally, we studied post-settlement migration of the juveniles to obtain a better understanding of the observed field distribution.

Grow-out of sandfish Holothuria scabra in ponds shows that co-culture with shrimp Litopenaeus stylirostris is not viable

We examined the potential for producing the large numbers of sandfish (Holothuria scabra) needed for restocking programmes by co-culturing juveniles with the shrimp Litopenaeus stylirostris in earthen ponds. Our experiments in hapas within shrimp ponds were designed to detect any deleterious effects of sandfish on shrimp, and vice versa. These experiments showed that a high stocking density of juvenile sandfish had no significant effects on growth and survival of shrimp.

Overview of sea cucumber aquaculture and sea-ranching research in the South-East Asian region

South-East Asia has traditionally been the global centre of production of tropical sea cucumbers for Chinese markets. Early research into culture methods took place outside this region, notably in India, the Pacific region and China. However, recent investment in Holothuria scabra (sandfish) culture has led to some significant advances within this region. The Philippines and Vietnam have been at the forefront of recent efforts, with involvement from substantial national programs and local institutions as well as international donors and scientific organisations.

Lessons for resource conservation from two contrasting small-scale fisheries

Small-scale fisheries present challenges to management due to fishers’ dependency on resources and the adaptability of management systems. The authors compared social-ecological processes in the sea cucumber fisheries of Zanzibar and Mayotte, Western Indian Ocean, to better understand the reasons for resource conservation or collapse.

Contagious exploitation of marine resources

Rising global demand for seafood presents challenges for managing marine resources, many of which are declining or threatened. The authors describe a new and rapid pattern of contagious marine resource exploitation, which spreads via global sourcing networks to satisfy rising demand. They use sea cucumbers to illustrate the concept, given their wide geographic distribution but specific market for consumption in China.

Developing technologies for restocking sandfish: Update on the WorldFish-SPC project in New Caledonia.

The WorldFish Center project to develop strategies for restocking sea cucumbers is now in its fourth year. Its main purpose is to develop optimal release strategies for the restocking of sandfish (Holothuria scabra). Experiments in 2004-2005 at the hatchery north of Noumea (New Caledonia) have refined new methods to grow sandfish juveniles in net enclosures within earthen shrimp ponds up to large sizes for release. WorldFish conducted sampling and genetic analysis on H. scabra.

Pacific: improving livelihoods for coastal communities in the Pacific

The island nations of the Pacific depend heavily on coral reef and coastal fisheries resources – globally, the highest per capita fish consumption is in the Pacific islands. Coral reefs support a rich variety of animals and plants that are valuable as food or for trade, including fish, spiny lobsters, sea cucumbers, giant clams, pearl oysters, shells such as trochus and green snail, and seaweeds. Traditionally, these animals and plants were harvested at subsistence levels.


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