Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
The sea cucumber fishery in Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park follows global patterns of serial exploitation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. University of Sydney, Australia.
2015 (English)In: Fish and Fisheries, ISSN 1467-2960, E-ISSN 1467-2979, Vol. 16, no 2, 329-341 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Tropical sea cucumber fisheries follow a predictable pattern of serial depletion. Overfishing is exacerbated in developing countries where management systems lack capacity to control large numbers of fishers influenced by poverty. In contrast, the tropical sea cucumber fishery in Australia's World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) is operating in a developed high-income country with relatively few licensed fishers to manage. The development of this fishery is reviewed here in a meta-analysis of catches from 1991 to 2011. The fishery expanded to replace high-value teatfish species (Holothuria whitmaei and H.fuscogilva), fished heavily in initial stages of the fishery, with newly commercialized medium-value species such as burying blackfish (Actinopyga spinea) and curryfish (Stichopus herrmanni). These two species now constitute 80% of total catch. The annual average catch of burying blackfish was 208tonnes years 2004-11 and curryfish catches increased rapidly at an average annual pace of 200% from 2007-11. This serial harvest pattern occurred in the absence of baseline studies and without independent resource assessments, information required to inform relevant harvest predictions and to determine fishery impacts. This situation does not support ecologically relevant and adaptive decision-making in management and the unfolding catch patterns in the GBRMP follow those in low-income developing countries. The missing knowledge and lack of data serve as arguments to support precautionary reductions in harvests and extending fallow periods in fishing zones.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 16, no 2, 329-341 p.
Keyword [en]
Beche-de-mer, coral reef, invertebrate, management, rights-based management, rotational harvest closures
National Category
Fish and Aquacultural Science Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117421DOI: 10.1111/faf.12059ISI: 000352536200008OAI: diva2:813885


Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2015-05-19 Last updated: 2015-05-25Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Eriksson, Hampus
By organisation
Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
In the same journal
Fish and Fisheries
Fish and Aquacultural ScienceBiological Sciences

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: 64 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link