Review of the Beche De Mer (Sea Cucumber) Fishery in the Maldives-BOBP/WP/79

WORKING PAPERS - BOBP/WP/79

Review of the Beche De Mer (Sea Cucumber) Fishery in the Maldives


by
Leslie Joseph
Programme Officer, BOBP


Executing Agency: FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Bay of Bengal Programme Madras, India, 1992

Table of Contents


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© FAO 2004

PREFACE

This paper is a review of the beche de mer (sea cucumber) fishery in the Maldives. The review was undertaken in view of the potential of the fishery for further development as well as the vulnerability of the resource to uncontrolled exploitation.

Data and information for the review were gathered in the Maldives during a one month period in May/June 1991. The review was carried out by a Programme Officer of the Bay of Bengal Programme (BOBP). Assistance received by him, from Mr. Hassan Maniku Maizan (Director of Fisheries Research and Development in Male) and Dr. R.C. Andersson, FAO/BOBP Fishery Biologist, in overall planning of the study, from Mr. Hassan Shakeel (Fishery Resources Officer of the Marine Research Section, Male), in logistics and interpretation, from Mr. Abdullah Waiz (of the Marine Research Section, Male), in the collection of information from exporters, from Mr. Ahmed Hafiz (of the Marine Research Section, Male) and from numerous fishermen and exporters, in the provision of information, is gratefully acknowledged.

The review and this paper which reports on it have been sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme and were executed by the Bay of Bengal Programme.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS


WORKING PAPERS - BOBP/WP/79pdf

1. INTRODUCTION
2. THE REVIEW
3. THE BECHE DE MER FISHERY

3.1 History
3.2 Species
3.3 Fishing methods, areas and seasons
3.4 Processing
3.5 Marketing and export
3.6 Income and expenditure
3.7 Production trends

4. THE BECHE DE MER RESOURCES
5. PROBLEMS, ISSUES AND CONCERNS OF THE FISHERY

5.1 Decreasing catches of high value species
5.2 The nocturnal species
5.3 Harvesting juveniles
5.4 Poor processing
5.5 Migration of fishermen
5.6 Interaction of the fishery
5.7 The tuna fishery
5.8 Toxic properties
5.9 Ecological balance

6. RECOMMENDATIONS

REFERENCES

ANNEXURES

Commercially harvested species of holothurians

TABLES

1. Names of commercially harvested holothurians.
2. Average prices paid to fishermen for beche de mer.
3. Size range of some beche de mer varieties.
4. Average export prices (FOB) for beche de mer exported.
5. Expenses incurred by mechanized dhonis for collection of sea cucumber.
6. Distribution of income from sea cucumber fishing.
7. Levels of income from sea cucumber fishing.
8. Exports of beche de mer (1985-1990).
9. Species composition of beche de mer exports, 1986 - 1990.
10. Relative abundance of commercially harvested holothurians.

MAPS, FIGURES AND CHARTS

1. Map of Maldives.
2. Monthly exports of beche de mer, 1988 - 1990.
3. Annual variation in the production of major beche de mer varieties.
4. Percentage length frequency of processed T. ananas (Prickly Redfish).
5. Percentage length frequency of processed M. nobilis (White Teatfish).
6. Percentage length frequency of processed S. chloronotus (Greenfish).
7. Percentage length frequency of processed A. mauritiana (Surf Redfish).
8. Percentage length of processed H. atra (Lollyfish) from Hithaadhoo island.

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