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Fishery and Resource Management of Tropical Sea Cucumbers in the Islands of the South China Sea

By Li, Xiangmin

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Book Id: WPLBN0000098828
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.7 MB
Reproduction Date: Available via World Wide Web.
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Title: Fishery and Resource Management of Tropical Sea Cucumbers in the Islands of the South China Sea  
Author: Li, Xiangmin
Language: English
Subject: United Nations., Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO agriculture series, Agriculture
Collections: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Digitizer: Fao


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Li, X. (n.d.). Fishery and Resource Management of Tropical Sea Cucumbers in the Islands of the South China Sea. Retrieved from

Nutrition Reference Publication

Electronic reproduction.

Abstract: Dongsha Islands, Nansha Islands, Xisha Islands and Zhongsha Islands in the South China Sea, located in the subtropics, are rich in sea cucumber resources. There are eighteen species of sea cucumbers in the area: Actinopyga echinites, A. lecanora, A. mauritiana, A. miliaris, Bohadschia argus, B. marmorata, Holothuria arenicola, H. atra, H. cinerascens, H. edulis, H. impatiens, H. leucospilota, H. nobilis, H. pervicax, H. scabra, Stichopus variegatus, S. chloronotus and Thelenota ananas. These species mainly inhabit the sea bed of coral reefs and are found as deep as 70 m, feeding on organic matter and microorganisms in the sand. For more than 400 years, fishers in eastern Hainan Island have visited Xisha and Nansha Islands to collect sea cucumbers using a specially designed tool known as the ?sea cucumber fork?. Processing of sea cucumbers includes three steps: removal of the viscera, cooking and drying. During the initial sea cucumber processing considerable care is required during the boiling phase and the intensity of the fire is regulated based on the colour changes of the specimens being cooked. Sea cucumbers are rich in protein and are used in China as a traditional medicine. They are also a highly sought after food item. Excessive fishing has caused the resources of sea cucumbers in these four island groups to gradually decline. To promote the sustainable utilization of these resources, a plan to protect some areas from fishing should be considered. At the same time, the fishing season and minimum legal size for capturing sea cucumbers should be restricted to preserve adequate breeding populations. Moreover, studies are needed on the artificial reproduction of economically important species of sea cucumber to maintain an ecologically stable resource by transferring emphasis from capture fisheries to aquaculture.


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