Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Present status of the commercial sea cucumber fishery off the north-west and east coasts of Sri Lanka

  • D.C.T. Dissanayake (a1) (a2) and G. Stefansson (a2)

Abstract

The sea cucumber fishery has been providing an important means of livelihood to the coastal fishing communities in Sri Lanka for centuries. Stock status, level of exploitation and mortality parameters of eleven commercial sea cucumber species were studied off the north-west and the east coasts of Sri Lanka using data collected from an underwater visual census and fishery-dependent surveys carried out in 2008 and 2009. The total abundance of sea cucumbers was higher in the north-west than the east (P < 0.01). However, the total abundance of all the species declined between 2008 and 2009. The commercial fishery predominantly relies on two nocturnal species: Holothuria spinifera and Thelenota anax. Holothuria spinifera had the highest contribution (73.2%) to the total landings in the north-west while this was provided by T. anax (93%) in the east. Both catch per unit effort and total landings declined in 2009 compared to 2008 having three exceptions (H. spinifera, Holothuria atra and Stichopus chloronotus) in the north-west. Further, the collection of immature individuals, reduced landings of high-value species and temporal shifting of fishing activities were observed in both areas. Two approaches (simple linear regression and random effects models) were used to estimate the natural mortality of sea cucumbers and the estimated values were 0.50 yr−1 and 0.45 yr−1, respectively. Apart from the management of local sea cucumber resources, this information is important to update the regional and global sea cucumber statistics as well as for launching regional management programmes.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: D.C.T. Dissanayake, Science Institute, Taeknigardur, University of Iceland, Dunhaga 5,107, Reykjavik, Iceland email: chami_dt@yahoo.com

References

Hide All
Bonilla, R.H. and Pérezrul, M.D.H. (2003) Population parameters of an exploited population of Isostichopus fuscus (Holothuroidea) in the southern Gulf of California, Mexico. Fisheries Research 59, 423430.
Bruckner, A.W. (2006) Management and conservation strategies and practices for sea cucumbers. In Brukner, A.W. (ed.) The proceedings of the technical workshop on the conservation of sea cucumbers in the families Holothuriidae and Stichopodidae, pp. 74103.
Bruckner, A.W., Johnson, K.A. and Field, J.D. (2003) Conservation strategies for sea cucumbers: can a CITES Appendix II listing promote sustainable international trade? SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin 18, 2433.
Choo, P.S. (2004) Fisheries, trade and utilization of sea cucumbers in Malaysia. Advances in sea cucumber aquaculture and management. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper 463, 5768.
Choo, P.S. (2008) Population status, fisheries and trade of sea cucumbers in Asia. In Toral-Granda, V., Lovatelli, A. and Vasconcellos, M. (eds) Sea cucumbers. A global review of fisheries and trade. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 516. Rome: FAO, pp. 81118.
Clarke, S. (2002) Trade in Asian dried seafood: characterization, estimation and implications for conservation. Wildlife Conservation Society Working Paper, 22.
Conand, C. (1990) The fishery resources of Pacific Island countries. Part 2 Holothurians. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 272. Rome: FAO, pp. 2143.
Conand, C. (1993) Reproductive biology of the holothurians from the major communities of the New Caledonian Lagoon. Marine Biology 116, 439450.
Conand, C. (2004) Present status of world sea cucumber resources and utilization: an international overview. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 463. Rome: FAO, pp. 1323.
Conand, C. (2008) Population status, fisheries and trade of sea cucumbers in Africa and the Indian Ocean. In Toral-Granda, V., Lovatelli, A. and Vasconcellos, M. (eds) Sea cucumbers. A global review of fisheries and trade. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 516. Rome: FAO, pp. 143193.
Conand, C. and Muthiga, N. (2007) Commercial sea cucumbers. A review for the Western Indian Ocean. WIOMSA Book Series 5, 123129.
Del Mar Otero-Villanueva, M. and Ut, V.N. (2007) Sea cucumber fisheries around Phu Quoc Archipelago: a cross-border issue between South Vietnam and Cambodia. SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin 25, 3236.
Dissanayake, D.C.T. and Wijayarathne, M.J.S. (2007) Studies on the sea cucumber fishery in the North Western coastal region of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Aquatic Science 12, 1937.
Dissanayake, D.C.T. and Stefansson, G. (2010a) Abundance and distribution of commercial sea cucumber species in the coastal waters of Sri Lanka. Aquatic Living Resources 23, 303313.
Dissanayake, D.C.T. and Stefansson, G. (2010b) Reproductive biology of the commercial sea cucumber Holothuria atra (Holothuroidea: Aspidochirotida) in the north western coastal waters of Sri Lanka. Invertebrate Reproduction and Development 54, 6576.
Dissanayake, D.C.T., Athukorala, S. and Amarasiri, C. (2010) Present status of the sea cucumber fishery in Sri Lanka. SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin 30, 1420.
Ebert, A. (1983) Recruitment in echinoderms. Echinoderm Studies 1, 169203.
Friedman, K., Eriksson, H., Tardy, E. and Pakoa, K. (2010) Management of sea cucumber stocks: patterns of vulnerability and recovery of sea cucumber stocks impacted by fishing. Fish and Fisheries 2, 110.
Hornell, J. (1917) Indian beche-de-mer industry: its history and recent revival. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 11, 119150.
James, D.B. (1994) Ecology of commercially important holothurians of India. Bulletin of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute 46, 3738.
Kinch, J., Purcell, S., Uthicke, S. and Friedman, K. (2008) Population status, fisheries and trade of sea cucumbers in the Western Central Pacific. In Toral-Granda, V., Lovatelli, A. and Vasconcellos, M. (eds) Sea cucumbers. A global review of fisheries and trade. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 516. Rome: FAO, pp. 755.
Kumara, P.B.T.P., Cumaranathunga, P.R.T. and Linden, O. (2005) Present status of the sea cucumber fishery in southern Sri Lanka: a resource depleted industry. SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin 22, 2429.
Lovatelli, A., Conand, C., Purcell, S., Uthicke, S., Hamel, J.F. and Mercier, A. (2004) Advances in sea cucumber aquaculture and management. Fisheries Technical Paper No. 463. Rome: FAO, 425 pp.
Long, B.G., Skewes, T.D., Dennis, D.M., Poiner, I.R., Pitcher, C.R., Taranto, T., Manson, F., Polon, F., Karre, B., Evans, C. and Milton, D. (1996) Distribution and abundance of beche-de-mer on Torres Strait reefs. CSIRO Division of Fisheries Final Report, March 1996, 99 pp.
Mercier, A., Battaglene, S.C. and Hamel, J.F. (1999) Daily burrowing cycle and feeding activity of juvenile sea cucumbers Holothuria scabra in response to environmental factors. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 239, 125156.
Purcell, S.W., Gossuin, H. and Agudo, N.N. (2009) Status and management of the sea cucumber fishery of la Grande Terre, New Caledonia. Penang, Malaysia: The World Fish Center, 138 pp.
Purcell, S.W. (2010a) Managing sea cucumber fisheries with an ecosystem approach. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 520. (Edited/compiled by Lovatelli, A., Vasconcellos, M. and Yimin, Y.). Rome: FAO, 157 pp.
Purcell, S.W. (2010b) Putting into practice an ecosystem approach to managing sea cucumber fisheries. Rome: FAO, 81 pp.
Shelley, C. (1985) Growth of Actinopyga echinites and Holothuria scabra (Holothuroidea: Echinodermata) and their fisheries potential (as beche-de-mer) in Papua New Guinea. Proceedings of the 5th International Coral Reef Symposium 5, 287302.
Shiell, G. (2004) Field observations of juvenile sea cucumbers. SPC beche-de-mer Information Bulletin 20, 11.
Shepherd, S.A., Martinez, P., Toral-Granda, M.V. and Edgar, G.J. (2004) The Galapagos sea cucumber fishery: management improves as stocks decline. Environmental Conservation 31, 102110.
Skewes, T., Taylor, S., Dennis, D., Haywood, M. and Donovan, A. (2006) Sustainability assessment of the Torres Strait sea cucumber fishery. Final Project Report, 30 pp.
Uthicke, S. and Benzie, J.A.H. (2000) Allozyme electrophoresis indicates high gene flow between populations of Holothuria (Microthele) nobilis (Holothuroidea: Aspidochirotida) on the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Biology 137, 819825.
Uthicke, S., Welch, D. and Benzie, J.A.H. (2004) Slow growth and lack of recovery in over fished holothurians on the Great Barrier Reef: evidence from DNA fingerprints and repeated large-scale surveys. Conservation Biology 18, 13951404.
Wiedemeyer, W.L. (1994) Biology of small juveniles of the tropical holothurian Actinopyga echinites growth, mortality, and habitat preferences. Marine Biology 120, 8193.
Woodby, D.A., Kruse, G.H. and Larson, R.C. (1993) A conservative application of a surplus production model to the sea cucumber fishery in southeast Alaska. In Proceedings of the International Symposium on Management for Exploited Fish Populations, pp. 191202.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed