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Sea Cucumber Aquaculture in the Western Indian Ocean: Challenges for Sustainable Livelihood and Stock Improvement

Hampus Eriksson, Georgina Robinson,Matthew J. Slater, Max Troell. (2011). Ambio, DOI 10.1007/s13280-011-0195-8


The decline in sea cucumber fisheries that serve the Asian dried seafood market has prompted an increase in global sea cucumber aquaculture. The tropical sandfish (Holothuria scabra) has, in this context, been reared and produced with mixed success. In the Western Indian Ocean, villagers often participate in the export fishery for sea cucumbers as a source of income. However, with a growing concern of depleted stocks introduction of hatcheries to farm sandfish as a community livelihood and to replenish wild stocks is being promoted. This review identifies and discusses a number of aspects that constitute constraints or implications with regard to development of sandfish farming in the region. The conclusion is that for sandfish farming to live up to its expectations the possible impacts need to be further studied, and that improved evaluation of ongoing projects is required. In the interim, a precautionary approach toward new enterprise activities is suggested

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Keywords: Sandfish, Holothuria scabra, Farming, Re-stocking,  Environmental impacts,  Governance

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