Sea Cucumber Aquaculture in the Western Indian Ocean: Challenges for Sustainable Livelihood and Stock Improvement: Challenges for Sustainable Livelihood and Stock Improvement

Hampus Eriksson, Georgina Robinson, Matthew J. Slater, Max Troell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


The decline in sea cucumber fisheries that serve the Asian dried seafood market has prompted an increase in global sea cucumber aquaculture. The tropical sandfish (Holothuria scabra) has, in this context, been reared and produced with mixed success. In the Western Indian Ocean, villagers often participate in the export fishery for sea cucumbers as a source of income. However, with a growing concern of depleted stocks introduction of hatcheries to farm sandfish as a community livelihood and to replenish wild stocks is being promoted. This review identifies and discusses a number of aspects that constitute constraints or implications with regard to development of sandfish farming in the region. The conclusion is that for sandfish farming to live up to its expectations the possible impacts need to be further studied, and that improved evaluation of ongoing projects is required. In the interim, a precautionary approach toward new enterprise activities is suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-121
Number of pages23
Issue number2
Early online date20 Oct 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012



  • Sandfish
  • Holothuria scabra
  • Farming
  • Re-stocking
  • Environmental Impacts
  • Governance

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