Sea cucumber fisheries: a manager's toolbox
Publication Code: 
978 1 921531 16 3 (print) 978 1 921531 17 0 (online)
Date Released: 
Friedman K., Purcell S., Bell J. and Hair C.

Sea cucumber fisheries provide an important source of cash income to isolated coastal communities throughout the Pacific islands region through the processing and sale of ‘bêche-de-mer’. Regrettably, for many communities these small-scale fisheries no longer yield the benefits they once did due to over-fishing. In areas where there are few other opportunities to earn income, this has resulted in families and, in some cases, whole villages suffering. The over-fishing has been exacerbated by the sedentary nature of sea cucumbers and the ease with which they can be collected from inshore habitats. Although more remote areas once provided some refuge from fishing for these vulnerable animals, this is no longer the case—these areas are now more readily accessed by divers using better boats and underwater breathing apparatus taking advantage of improved access to markets.

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