Breaking degradation of sea cucumber resources: a social-ecological analysis of the fisheries in Zanzibar and Mayotte Islands in the Western Indian Ocean
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
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.
Bêche-de-mer, Trepang, Fisheries, Management, Transformation, Adaptive management, Fisheries governance
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-75523OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-75523DiVA: diva2:516985