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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Global exploitation of sharks and sea cucumbers to meet consumer demand in China is motivating a rising conservation concern. In order to analyze trends in resource exploitation and market dynamics, this paper reviews global production and trade data for these taxa.
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.
The findings are presented of a literature survey conducted regarding research in echinoderm fisheries. Information was obtained from ASFA for the period 1971-88, the ICLARM library and professional staff collections. Details are given of publication types, areas of research and some recent papers and institutions involved in sea cucumberfisheries are cited.
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.
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.