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Resource degradation of the sea cucumber fishery in Zanzibar, Tanzania: a need for management reform
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Institute of Marine Science, University of Dar es Salaam, Mizingani Rd., PO Box 668, Zanzibar .
2010 (English)In: Aquatic Living Resources, ISSN 0990-7440, E-ISSN 1765-2952, Vol. 23, 387-398 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study assessed the Zanzibar sea cucumber fishery using a multidisciplinary approach. Data was collected by (i) interviewing various groups of actors in the fishery and reviewing management documentation and legislation, (ii) by monitoring catches and (iii) through a visual census of coastal sea cucumber populations in areas open and closed to fishing. The fishery showed clear signs of being unsustainable with high fishing effort, and weak formal and informal management institutions. The fishery operation was characterised by an intricate cross-scale structure with both fishers and sea cucumber products being transported across national borders. The visual census of commercial sea cucumber stocks at three sites open to fishing around Zanzibar showed low densities across the range of sea cucumber value groups including low value species. Furthermore, the diversity of commercial sea cucumber species was lower in fished reefs than on a protected reef. The poor status of the sea cucumber populations was confirmed by the perception of an overfished resource by the interviewed actors active in the fishery. This was also depicted by the paucity of high value species, and high representation of low value and newly commercialised species in fishers catch. We conclude that the current state of Zanzibar’s sea cucumber populations is compromising the fisheries self-replenishment and existence and that the fishery is in urgent need of a complete management reform. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 23, 387-398 p.
Keyword [en]
Bêche-de-mer Fisheries Overfishing Holothurians Echinoderms Trepang Western Indian Ocean
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-75513DOI: 10.1051/alr/2011002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-75513DiVA: diva2:516972
Available from: 2012-04-20 Created: 2012-04-20 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Managing sea cucumber fisheries and aquaculture: Studies of social-ecological systems in the Western Indian Ocean
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing sea cucumber fisheries and aquaculture: Studies of social-ecological systems in the Western Indian Ocean
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Collecting sea cucumbers to supply the high value Chinese dried seafood market is a livelihood activity available to many people in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), making it an important part of local economies. These fisheries are generally not successfully managed and tropical sea cucumber fisheries show continuing signs of decline. This thesis takes a social-ecological systems approach to guide better management of sea cucumber fisheries and aquaculture in the WIO. Papers 1 and 2 analyse the fishery situation in Zanzibar and find that in the absence of effective management institutions and income alternatives among fishers, leading to dependence, there are unsustainable expanding processes. Paper 3 compares the unmanaged fishery in Zanzibar to the highly controlled situation in Mayotte. In Mayotte, a protection effect is evident and the commercial value of stocks is significantly higher than in Zanzibar. The analysis of the situation in Mayotte demonstrates the importance of matching the fishery – management temporal scales through prepared and adaptive management to avoid processes that reinforce unsustainable expansion. Paper 4 analyses sea cucumber community spatial distribution patterns at a coastal seascape-scale in Mayotte establishing baseline patterns of habitat utilization and abundance, which can be used as reference in management. Paper 5 reviews the potential for sea cucumber aquaculture in the WIO. The review illustrates that this activity, which is currently gaining momentum, does so based on inflated promises and with significant social-ecological risks. Emphasis for improvements is, in this thesis, placed on the importance of prepared and adaptive institutions to govern and control expanding processes of the fishery. These institutional features may be achieved by increasing the level of knowledge and participation in governance and by integration of sea cucumber resources management into higher-level policy initiatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 2012. 43 p.
Keyword
Sea cucumbers, Bêche-de-mer, Trepang, Echinoderms, Fisheries, Aquaculture, Governance, Trade, Seafood, Tropical seascape, Zanzibar, Mayotte, Western Indian Ocean
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Marine Ecotoxicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-75515 (URN)978-91-7447-515-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-06-01, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2012-05-10 Created: 2012-04-20 Last updated: 2012-10-08Bibliographically approved

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