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Breaking degradation of sea cucumber resources: a social-ecological analysis of the fisheries in Zanzibar and Mayotte Islands in the 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.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Despite increasing research and management attention to tropical sea cucumber fisheries no apparent successes have been documented. To broaden the perspective of recent advances in management tools this study analyses the social-ecological processes in two contrasting sea cucumber fisheries situations, Zanzibar (Tanzania) and Mayotte (France) in the Western Indian Ocean. Zanzibar has an on-going fishery while the fishery in Mayotte operated approximately 10 years before it was closed in 2004. The study compares how different management strategies in Mayotte and Zanzibar were taken to address increasing fishing effort and a declining sea cucumber population. The comparison provide an opportunity learning and reflection. A visual census of stocks shows that the commercial value is nearly 30 times higher in Mayotte than Zanzibar owing to different fishery and management practices. In Mayotte less than 100 people were engaged in the fishery when it was active and the fishery was a comparatively small enterprise. In contrast, over 1000 people collect sea cucumbers as part of an expansive trade network that has developed in Zanzibar. In addition, in this site fishers are dependent on the resource for livelihood and expanding fishery processes have therefore occurred as a response to declines in catch abundance and value. These responses have taken place in the context of insufficient management and reinforce an unsustainable fishery situation difficult to break – referred to as a social-ecological trap. In contrast, management in Mayotte was receptive and adaptive to changes. The closure of the fishery illustrates the importance and positive outcome of matching the fishery – management temporal scales to avoid reinforcing fishery processes and to maintain ecosystem integrity. The multiple fisheries targeting sea cucumbers documented in this study captures how different management approaches and management plans are required, building on an understanding of the social-ecological context of the fishery. In addition, the comparison illustrates the importance of management systems with adequate resources (e.g. human and economic) and functioning information flows for positive management outcomes.  

Keyword [en]
Bêche-de-mer, Trepang, Fisheries, Management, Transformation, Adaptive management, Fisheries governance
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-75523OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-75523DiVA: diva2:516985
Available from: 2012-04-20 Created: 2012-04-20 Last updated: 2012-05-04Bibliographically 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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