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This document is a collection of all the technical papers presented at the international Workshop on Advances in Sea Cucumber Aquaculture and Management (ASCAM) held from 14 to 18 October 2003 in Dalian (Liaoning Province), People's Republic of China, and organized by the FAO Fisheries Department.

The publication is divided into four sections. The first part includes the introduction and recommendations made by the participants on issues concerning sea cucumber resource management and aquaculture. The next sections contain the technical papers presented and discussed at the workshop sessions, namely (i) on the status of resources and utilization (Session I), (ii) on resource management (Session II), and (iii) on aquaculture advances (Session III).

The first section introduces up-to-date information on the present status of world sea cucumber resources and utilization with special focus on those countries such as China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines which have been heavily involved in the industry for decades. Information from other countries such as Cuba, Egypt, Madagascar and Tanzania, relative newcomers to the sector, is also provided indicating to some extent the growing interest with regards to the exploitation of holothurians for the increasing Asian markets.

The section on resource management focuses on the experiences of countries, highlighting progress made as well as identifying the constraints and knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to ensure adequate management of these multispecies fisheries. Issues raised include whether restocking and stock enhancement should be used to manage sea cucumber fisheries.

The third section presents information on technical advances made in the artificial reproduction and farming of selected commercial species, particularly for the Japanese sea cucumber, Apostichopusjaponicus. Furthermore, the workshop in Dalian provided the opportunity to share findings from on-going research activities on a variety of other sea cucumber species including the Galapagos sea cucumber, Isostichopus fuscus. The interest in holothurian aquaculture is clearly growing. This is evident from the number of countries participating in sea cucumber aquaculture research, possibly as a result of declining natural resources or national aquaculture species diversification programmes.

The workshop recommendations were formulated and agreed during discussion sessions and are designed to help international and regional development organizations and national governments prioritize their activities concerning sea cucumber conservation and exploitation.

Key words: Holothurians, sea cucumber, beche-de-mer, resource management, conservation, fisheries, aquaculture, polyculture, hatchery operations, reproduction, spawning, larval rearing, parasites, processing, markets

Lovatelli, A. (comp./ed.); Conand, C.; Purcell, S.; Uthicke, S.; Hamel, J.-F.; Mercier, A. (eds.)
Advances in sea cucumber aquaculture and management.
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 463. Rome, FAO. 2004. 425p.

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