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Sea cucumbers: a compendium of fishery statistics


Sea cucumbers: a compendium of fishery statistics

Stefania Vannuccini

FAO Fisheries Department, Rome, Italy

Introduction and methodological remarks

This compendium is a reduced version of the support document distributed at the Workshop on Advances in Sea Cucumber Aquaculture and Management (ASCAM), held in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China on 14-18 October 2003. The aim of this review is to present relevant fisheries statistics available on sea cucumbers in the FAO FIDI databases, namely statistics on capture fisheries production and foreign trade. With few exceptions, the statistics cover the 1991-2001 period. One of the main functions of the Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit (FIDI) is to collect, analyse, interpret and disseminate information relating to fisheries. FAO fisheries data are usually obtained from national offices and, whenever possible, are checked using other sources. When official data are unavailable to FAO or considered unreliable, estimates are provided.

Several methodological remarks must be made before reading this compendium. Total production of sea cucumbers is probably higher than indicated in this review due to several reasons. No aquaculture production of sea cucumbers has been reported to FAO by national offices. Another factor to be taken into account is the risk of the incorrect inclusion, by some countries, of their production of farmed sea cucumbers under their reporting of sea cucumber capture statistics. Furthermore, there were countries that did not separately identify their production of sea cucumbers (farmed or caught in the wild), but they included it in more generic groups from which is not possible to identify the exact volume of sea cucumbers produced. This is, for example, the case of a large producer such as China, which does not identify production of sea cucumbers separately in their reporting to FAO. Another major problem lies in trade statistics. There are countries that record and report their trade of sea cucumbers in a specific group called “sea cucumber” (in fresh or chilled; frozen; dried, salted or in brine forms), but there are many others that report this trade in a more generic group named “sea cucumber and other invertebrates” (fresh or chilled; frozen; dried, salted or in brine; canned; preparations). It is, therefore, not possible to determine the exact amount of sea cucumbers included in this generic group and, therefore, the exact volume of sea cucumber traded internationally. In this review, trade of these two main groups is shown separately and it is important to bear in mind that sea cucumbers may represent only a small fraction in the “sea cucumber and other invertebrates” group.

FAO FIDI fisheries statistics are accessible to external users, as downloadable databases, together with a retrieval and analytical software, at: http://www.fao.org/fi/statist/FISOFT/FISHPLUS.asp. For more detailed information on the concepts, composition, coverage and methodologies followed for the compilation of statistics on capture fisheries production, aquaculture production and fishery trade, please refer to the FAO Yearbooks of Fishery Statistics or contact the FAO Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit, Fisheries Department, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy; Email: FIDI-Inquiries@fao.org; Fax: +39 06 57052476.

Standard symbols

0

more than zero but less than half the unit used

nei

not elsewhere included

-

none; magnitude known to be nil or zero

F

FAO estimate

...

data not available; unobtainable

%

Percentage

Reference

FAO Fishery Information Data and Statistics Unit. 2003. Databases: Capture production 1950-2001. Fisheries commodities production and trade 1976-2001. Available in: Fishstat Plus (Universal software for fishery statistical time series) version 2.30 http://www.fao.org/fi/statist/fisoft/fishplus.asp and CD-ROM of April 2003. Rome, FAO.

Capture fisheries production of sea cucumbers

World capture fisheries production of sea cucumbers increased from 4 300 tonnes in 1950 to a peak of 23 400 tonnes in 2000, subsequently decreasing to about 18 900 tonnes in 2001 (Figure 1). In this past year, two main groups of species of sea cucumber were reported: sea cucumbers nei (Holothurioidea) with 10 730 tonnes and Japanese sea cucumber (Stichopus japonicus) with 8 130 tonnes. Japan was the top producer of sea cucumbers caught in the wild with more than 7 200 tonnes in 2001, representing a 10 % increase compared to 1991, followed by Indonesia (3 250 tonnes), the USA (1 800 tonnes) and Papua New Guinea (1 450 tonnes).

Figure 1. Capture fisheries production of sea cucumbers by species. Source: FAO, Fishstat Plus (v. 2.3), Capture Production 1950-2001.

In 2001, 66 % of world production of wild caught sea cucumbers originated from Asia, followed by Oceania (16 %), North and Central America (12 %, showing the strongest increase in production) and Africa (5 %) (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Capture fisheries production of sea cucumbers by continent. Source: FAO, Fishstat Plus (v. 2.3), Capture Production 1950-2001.

The bulk of the sea cucumber production was caught in the Pacific Ocean, in particular in the Northwest Pacific (43 %) and in the Western Central Pacific (32 %).

Exports of sea cucumbers and other invertebrates

In 2001, exports of “sea cucumbers” were more than 5 300 tonnes (Figure 3), with a value of US$ 30.9 million. This represented a 43 % decrease in volume terms and a 25 % decline in value terms compared to 1991. In 2001, 84 % of the volume and 90 % of the value of these exports consisted of cured sea cucumbers (Figure 3). In volume terms, China Hong Kong SAR was the leading exporter in 2001, with 3 900 tonnes, followed by China (650 tonnes) and the Solomon Islands (270 tonnes). China Hong Kong SAR was also the main exporter in value terms in 2001 with US$ 22.7 million, followed by Sri Lanka (US$ 1.9 million) and Taiwan Province of China (US$ 1.8 million) (Figure 4).

Figure 3. Exports of “sea cucumber” by product form. Source: FAO, Fishstat Plus (v. 2.3), Commodities trade and production 1976-2001.

In 2001, exports of “sea cucumber and other inverterbrates” were 20 700 tonnes, worth US$ 85.6 million. In 2001, 93 % of the volume and of the value of these exports were represented by sea cucumber in prepared and preserved form. In volume terms, Spain was the top exporter in 2001 with 10 000 tonnes, followed by Indonesia (2 600 tonnes) and the Republic of Korea (2 500 tonnes). In value terms, the Republic of Korea was the leading exporter in 2001 with US$ 32.4 million, followed by Spain (US$ 24.4 million) and France (US$ 5.2 million). As mentioned in the methodological remarks, these data may include other species, other than sea cucumbers.

Figure 4. Exports of “sea cucumbers” by continent in value. Source: FAO, Fishstat Plus (v. 2.3), Commodities trade and production 1976-2001.

Imports of sea cucumbers and other invertebrates

In 2001, imports of “sea cucumbers” amounted to 7 300 tonnes, worth US$ 56.7 million (Figure 5). China Hong Kong SAR was the leading importer in volume and value terms with 4 400 tonnes (US$ 50.4 million), followed by China (2 060 tonnes) and Taiwan Province of China (700 tonnes). In value terms, China Hong Kong SAR was followed by Taiwan Province of China (US$ 4.0 million) and China (US$ 1.2 million) (Figure 6). In 2001, the bulk (68 %) of sea cucumbers imported (quantity) consisted of products in dried, salted or in brine form, followed by frozen (31 %) and limited quantities of fresh or chilled sea cucumbers. Cured fish also held the greatest share in value terms (95 %)

Figure 5. Imports of “sea cucumbers“ by product form. Source: FAO, Fishstat Plus (v. 2.3), Commodities trade and production 1976-2001.

In 2001, imports of “sea cucumber and other inverterbrates” reached more than 29 000 tonnes, worth US$ 87.2 million. In 2001, 49 % of the volume and 55 % of the value of these exports were in prepared and preserved form. In volume and in value terms, France was the top importer in 2001 with 9 000 tonnes (US$ 26.9 million), followed by the Republic of Korea (6 400 tonnes; US$ 16.4 million) and Spain (4 300 tonnes; US$ 10.7 million). As remarked for exports, these data may also contain other species, other than sea cucumbers.

Figure 6. Imports of “sea cucumbers” by continent in value. Source: FAO, Fishstat Plus (v. 2.3), Commodities trade and production 1976-2001.

Tables




Table 1.

Capture fisheries production of sea cucumbers by species and country in tonnes



Table 2.

Capture fisheries production of sea cucumbers by species and country in selected years in tonnes and percentage



Table 3.

Capture fisheries production of sea cucumbers by continent in selected years in tonnes and percentage



Table 4.

Capture fisheries production of sea cucumbers by fishing area in selected years in tonnes and percentage



Table 5.

Exports of sea cucumbers and other invertebrates by product form in tonnes, US$’000 and US$/kg



Table 6.

Imports of sea cucumbers and other invertebrates by product form in tonnes, US$’000 and US$/kg



Table 7.

Exports of sea cucumbers and other invertebrates by product form in selected years, in US$’000 and percentage



Table 8.

Imports of sea cucumbers and other invertebrates by product form in selected years, in US$’000 and percentage



Table 9.

Total exports of “sea cucumbers” by principal exporters in US$’000



Table 10.

Total imports of “sea cucumbers” by principal exporters in US$’000



Table 11.

Total exports of “sea cucumbers and other invertebrates” by principal exporters in US$’000



Table 12.

Total imports of “sea cucumbers and other invertebrates” by principal exporters in US$’000


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