[Coral-List] Contents of Coral-List digest "Move to regulate Florida sea cucumber driven by Asian"

Nyawira Muthiga nmuthiga at wcs.org
Fri Mar 7 11:02:02 EST 2014

Hi Coral listers
The western Indian ocean (WIO) is also experiencing the same issues, Dr.
C. Conand and I led a regional project to assess the status, management of
sea cucumbers in the WIO that was supported by the Western Indian Ocean
Marine Science Association (WIOMSA). We found that many stocks were
overexploited, fishers are increasingly migrating along coastlines in
search of new stocks including across national boundaries, fishing was
occurring in deeper areas and for longer periods of time in search of
increasingly rare species of commercial value. There was also evidence
that species of high commercial value H. scabra and H. fuscogilva  were
exhibiting fishing pressure through changes in their life histories.
Unfortunately management systems were generally weak or nonexistent. The
interest in improving the management of these fisheries has increased
through training and workshops conducted in the WIO during the regional
project and also training in ecosystem based management for managers that
was coordinated by FAO in Zanzibar in 2012. See references below
Conand C, Muthiga N (eds) 2007. Commercial sea cucumbers: A review for the
Indian Ocean. WIOMSA Book Series No. 5 v + 63.

Muthiga NA, Kawaka J (2009). The breeding pattern and variations in timing
     reproductive output of the commercial sea cucumber Holothuria
fuscogilva in Kenya. Western Indian Ocean J. Mar. Sci. 8 (2):183-192.

Muthiga NA, Kawaka JA, Ndirangu S. (2009) The timing and reproductive
output of
     the commercial sea cucumber Holothuria
     scabra on the Kenyan coast. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science. 84:

FAO. 2013.Report on the FAO Workshop on Sea Cucumber
     Fisheries: An Ecosystem Approach to Management in the Indian Ocean
     Indian Ocean), Mazizini, Zanzibar, the United Republic of Tanzania,
     November 2012. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report. No. 1038. Rome,
FAO. 92 pp.

I can send out soft copies of the publications upon request

Dr. Nyawira Muthiga

Director Marine Program Kenya
Wildlife Conservation Society
P.O. Box 99470-80107
Mombasa KENYA
Cell: +254 726529001
Ofc Cell: +254701018561
US Phone: +16502964280
Skype: wcs.org_nmuthiga

On 3/6/14 3:48 PM, "Sven Uthicke" <S.Uthicke at aims.gov.au> wrote:

>Dear Doug and other coral listers,
>Thank you for forwarding the news about the cucumber fishery in Florida.
>As Walther pointed out in his response, it is a story similar to that we
>are so familiar with all over the Indo-Pacific Ocean since many decades
>now; in case of the GBR even going back several centuries. The fact that
>fisheries are now spreading into 'non-traditional;' regions such as
>Florida, the Caribbean or even the Mediterranean is just another sign for
>the growing demand in China and depletion of most traditional stock.
>There are very few examples of a sustainable fishery management, and the
>few documented cases of overfishing sadly include two of the most iconic
>marine areas, the GBR and the Galapagos Island Marine Park. Although
>management has not changed much over recent decades, scientific and
>public interest has grown and lead to several publications on holothurian
>fisheries and management in excellent journals over the last few years.
>Several detailed reports on individual regions can be found
>  on the FAO website. Below, I would like to take to opportunity to point
>out a few publications, hoping these are of interest to scientists and
>managers. In addition, it is worthwhile to point out that recently the
>IUCN has conducted an assessment of all holothurian species, for your
>convenience below a list of species regarded 'vulnerable', Most of these
>are tropical coral reefs species, and the majority occurs in the Indo
>Pacific Region; about 9 of those occur on the GBR. Most of the listed
>species are still fished in the Indo-Pacific with only minor regulation
>or under 'pseudo-management' without independent research and independent
>stock assessments, relying on fisheries data alone.
>Actinopyga echinites (Deep Water Redfish)
>Status: Vulnerable A2bd ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: decreasing
>Actinopyga mauritiana (Surf Redfish)
>Status: Vulnerable A2bd ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: decreasing
>Actinopyga miliaris (Harry Blackfish)
>Status: Vulnerable A2bd ver 3.1
>Apostichopus japonicus (Japanese Spiky Sea Cucumber)
>Status: Endangered A2bd ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: decreasing image
>Apostichopus parvimensis (Warty Sea Cucumber)
>Status: Vulnerable A2bd ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: stable
>Bohadschia maculisparsa
>Status: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: unknown
>Holothuria arenacava
>Status: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: unknown
>Holothuria fuscogilva
>Status: Vulnerable A2bd ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: decreasing
>Holothuria lessoni (Golden Sandfish)
>Status: Endangered A2bd ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: decreasing
>Holothuria nobilis (Black Teatfish)
>Status: Endangered A2bd ver 3.1
>Holothuria platei 
>Status: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: unknown
>Holothuria scabra (Sandfish)
>Status: Endangered A2bd ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: decreasing
>Holothuria whitmaei (Black Teatfish)
>Status: Endangered A2bd ver 3.1
>Isostichopus fuscus (Brown Sea Cucumber)
>Status: Endangered A2bd ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: decreasing
>Stichopus herrmanni (Curryfish)
>Status: Vulnerable A2bd ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: decreasing
>Thelenota ananas (Prickly Redfish)
>Status: Endangered A2bd ver 3.1
>Pop. trend: decreasing
>Another useful resource is the FAO ID guidebook:
>http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/i1918e/i1918e00.htm , hard copies can be
>requested from Alessandro Lovatelli with the FAO.
>*	Anderson SC, Flemming JM, Watson R, Lotze HK (2011) Serial exploitation
>of global sea cucumber fisheries. Fish and Fisheries 12:317-339
>*	Eriksson H, Byrne M (2013) The sea cucumber fishery in Australia's
>Great Barrier Reef Marine Park follows global patterns of serial
>exploitation. Fish and Fisheries
>*	Purcell SE, Polidoro BA, Hamel J-F, Gamboa RU, Mercier A (2014) The
>cost of being valuable: predictors of extinction risk in marine
>invertebrates exploited as luxury seafood Proc. R. Soc. B. 2014 281 1781
>20133296; doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.3296
>*	Purcell SW, Mercier A, Conand C, Hamel JF, Toral-Granda MV, Lovatelli
>A, Uthicke S (2013) Sea cucumber fisheries: global analysis of stocks,
>management measures and drivers of overfishing. Fish and Fisheries
>Dr Sven Uthicke
>Senior Research Scientist
>Australian Institute of Marine Science
>Team leader "Multiple pressures on coastal ecosystems"
>e-mail: suthicke at aims.gov.au
>w: 0747534483
>m: 0447825604
>-----Original Message-----
>From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of
>coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>Sent: Wednesday, 5 March 2014 3:00 AM
>To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>Subject: Coral-List Digest, Vol 67, Issue 3
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>Today's Topics:
>   1. Fwd: Move to regulate Florida sea cucumber driven by Asian
>      appetite (Douglas Fenner)
>Message: 1
>Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2014 10:10:25 -1100
>From: Douglas Fenner <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>
>Subject: [Coral-List] Fwd: Move to regulate Florida sea cucumber
>	driven by Asian appetite
>To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>	<CAOEmEkFaOr7HXhmVOCh902fm9MsC5mAfX_tL41rQQ7A=ziCnJw at mail.gmail.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>I'm posting this for Walt Smith.   Cheers,  Doug
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>From: Walt Smith <walt at waltsmith.com>
>Date: Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 9:49 AM
>Subject: RE: [Coral-List] Move to regulate Florida sea cucumber driven by
>Asian appetite
>To: Douglas Fenner <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>
>Hi Doug,
>An interesting article and rings a bell. Being from both Tonga and Fiji
>for the past 25 years I have watched the cucumber trade come and go out
>of Tonga and then come back again based on greed and the cost of a
>license to collect them that went straight into the pockets of the
>corrupt officials. Several years ago they issued more than 55 licenses at
>the cost of more than $50,000 each and last year they had few takers
>because the stock had been depleted so badly it wasn't worth it to spend
>the money and time to "try" and collect them.
>In Fiji the trade has finally reached that level  of over extraction.
>Actually the industry has existed here for more than 100 years but the
>20 competitive Chinese exporters drove the market to near extinction.
>The Fiji government has just passed a law to prohibit scuba gear in their
>collection and are diligent in enforcing it. However one of the main
>reasons for the law was to protect the Fiji diver from death and
>paralyses. Almost every family in the villages (in the island groups
>where they are collected) has at least one family member who is either
>dead or crippled for life due to this trade. Reason? They are now only
>found in very deep water ....
>dangerous to unskilled divers. Also contributing to the greed is the
>This is what struck me so hard reading that article. Mr. Lee is seriously
>pulling the wool over someone's eyes or the reporter got it wrong. In
>Fiji a diver is paid between $70 - $100 per kilo of beche-de-mer
>depending on specie. One large specimen can weigh up to 2 kg and rarely
>less than 1 kg.
>The exporters are among the richest Chinese in Fiji. I once asked one of
>the exporters, that I was observing selling a pallet load to overseas
>buyers, what that pallet is worth and I was told "more than $80,000 USD!
>Of course it is possible that the Florida specie bring less market price
>but hard to believe since he stated they were being used to present as
>to Government officials. You have to ask yourself that if you wanted to
>present this sort of gift to bribe someone wouldn't it be the best "gold
>label" you could find? .... just sayin Walt
>-----Original Message-----
>From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Douglas
>Sent: Friday, February 21, 2014 7:14 AM
>To: coral list
>Subject: [Coral-List] Move to regulate Florida sea cucumber driven by
>Asian appetite
>This story ran recently in many Florida newspapers.
>The article includes some humor, saying that "This is a story about sex,
>supply and demand, global trade, corruption, government regulation and
>one of the ugliest sea creatures in Florida."  (obviously written to try
>to get people to read the article)
>and that it "a long and lumpy invertebrate that looks like a cross
>between a diseased zucchini and an overinflated eclair."
>But it may be a more serious issue than that.   Cheers,  Doug
>Cheers,  Doug
>Douglas Fenner
>Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
>PO Box 7390
>Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
>phone 1 684 622-7084
>Coral-List mailing list
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>End of Coral-List Digest, Vol 67, Issue 3
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