- About half of the interviewed fishermen pointed out that so far there is no regulation on the size of individual sea cucumbers harvested. This is an incentive for fishers to harvest what they feel among themselves is appropriate. Consequently, the fishing of small-size sea cucumbers is increasing and is likely to become a problem in future, especially if recruitment relies on local stocks, says de la Torre-Castro.
Time to improve management
A first step in improving the situation of sea cucumber stocks in the region would be to establish size limits for sea cucumbers that enter the market. Furthermore, reliable databases of trends in the sea cucumber fishery would provide better platforms on which to create sustainable management policies.
- It could be made mandatory for licensed owners of sea cucumber fishing vessels to provide data on catch and effort, the fishing ground where sea cucumbers have been caught and the number of fishers who have used the boat. Further, a special arrangement should be made with the sea cucumber exporters to provide accurate data on the quantity of each species exported, where they are exported to, and the price offered for each species, de la Torre-Castro says.
See seminar video with Professor Robert Pomeroy on how to manage overcapacity in small-scale fisheries (read more about the seminar here):
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