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In 1990, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published a review on the holothurian resources of the Pacific which described the main sea cucumber species exploited in the South Pacific and reviewed the biology, resource assessment methods, harvesting and processing techniques and principal markets for beche-de-mer (Conand, C. The fishery resources of Pacific Island countries. Part 2: Holothurians. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 272.2. Rome, FAO. 1990. 143p.).

Since the publication of the paper, many countries worldwide - some not traditionally involved in this fishery - began exploiting their sea cucumber resources, encouraged by the strong and growing market demand particularly from the Far East. In the last decades, different management plans for both the conservation and exploitation of sea cucumber have been tested and applied. Considerable advances have also been made on farming techniques and artificial reproduction for some commercially important species through applied research activities.

This document collects all the papers presented at the international Workshop on Advances in Sea Cucumber Aquaculture and Management (ASCAM) held from 14 to 18 October 2003 in Dalian, People's Republic of China, and organized by the Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service of the FAO Fishery Resources Division. The papers presented provide up-to-date information on the status of resources and utilization, resource management and advances in aquaculture.

The target audience for this publication includes fishers, farmers, researchers, managers and policy-makers. It is hoped that this document will assist international and regional development organizations and national governments to prioritize their activities concerning sea cucumber conservation and exploitation.

These papers have been reproduced as submitted by the participants at the ASCAM Workshop. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


FAO Members and associate members
FAO Fisheries Department
FAO Regional and Subregional Offices
Workshop participants

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