Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Sea cucumber (Aspidochirotida) community, distribution and habitat utilization on the reefs of Mayotte, Western Indian Ocean
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2012 (English)In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, E-ISSN 1616-1599, Vol. 452, 159-170 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The tropical sea cucumber (Aspidochirotida) fishery for the lucrative Asian dried-seafood trade is a multi-species fishery with little ecological knowledge. To improve ecological understanding of the targeted species, the reefs of Mayotte, Western Indian Ocean, were surveyed to document the distribution, species assemblage and habitat utilization of commercial sea cucumbers. This is one of the few reef areas in the region protected from fishing, thus providing an important and unique opportunity to investigate sea cucumber ecology. Twenty-two species were observed. The medium-value Bohadschia atra and the high-value Holothuria nobilis were the most abundant species. Species distribution varied but the density was generally similar across areas and habitats. Multivariate analysis (ANOSIM) indicated that the community was similar between surveyed areas and reef habitats. Diversity was lower in one of the surveyed areas and in the ocean-facing barrier reef habitat. Habitat complexity was not a significant driver of diversity or abundance. A principal component analysis showed that the 6 most common species (B. atra, Holothuria atra, H. fuscopunctata, H. nobilis and Thelenota ananas) were associated with different substrate types. Clustering these species according to substrate variables indicated both habitat utilization overlap and segregation among species, valuable information for spatial planning of fisheries management and conservation. Although unique species were observed in some areas, the present study shows that, at a large spatial scale, the unfished reefs in Mayotte consist of similar commercial sea cucumber communities, an important baseline finding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 452, 159-170 p.
Keyword [en]
Coral reefs, Bêche-de-mer, Trepang, Habitat, Ecosystem-based management, Fisheries management, Tropical seascape
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-75522DOI: 10.3354/meps09665ISI: 000303213900012OAI: diva2:516984
Available from: 2012-04-20 Created: 2012-04-20 Last updated: 2012-10-08Bibliographically 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.
Sea cucumbers, Bêche-de-mer, Trepang, Echinoderms, Fisheries, Aquaculture, Governance, Trade, Seafood, Tropical seascape, Zanzibar, Mayotte, Western Indian Ocean
National Category
Research subject
Marine Ecotoxicology
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)

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

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Eriksson, Hampusde la Torre-Castro, Maricela
By organisation
Department of Systems EcologyStockholm Resilience Centre
In the same journal
Marine Ecology Progress Series

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 117 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link