Beche-de-mer No 44 (April 2024)

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Number 44 (April 2024)

PDF: 11 MB

Group Coordinator and Bulletin Editor

Igor Eeckhaut, Marine Biology and Bioimitation, 6 Av. Champ de Mars, University of Mons, 7000 Mons Belgium.


Pacific Community, Fisheries Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division, Information Section, SPC, BP D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia.

Produced with financial assistance from the Australian Government, the European Union, France and the New Zealand Aid Programme.


The 44th issue of the SPC Beche-de-Mer Information Bulletin includes nine original articles and scientific observations from around the world. 

The first article by Burgy and Purcell (p. 4) presents the results of an aquaculture programme in French Polynesia on the white teatfish, Holothuria fuscogilva, and black teatfish, H. whitmaei. The programme aims at developing commercial-scale aquaculture for this promising sector whose products are intended for international markets, particularly in Asia.

The next article, presented by Scott and colleagues (p. 22), documents cases of skin ulceration diseases among individuals of a laboratory-held Canadian population of Cucumaria frondosa by comparing disease-associated symptoms with those previously described in the literature and exploring the potential co-incident causative factors. 

Chammem (p. 27) provides an analysis of sea cucumber trading in Tunisia, emphasising the targeted species in the central Mediterranean Sea. Drawing insights from a diverse range of sources, it offers a detailed overview of the existing state of the sea cucumber trade in the region. 

The two next articles concern Actinopyga species. Morejhon and Argyle (p. 31) provide the first observations of Actinopyga cf. flammea from Cook Islands, while Parrish (p. 34) makes points out a strange V-shaped sea cucumber morphology where a living adult Actinopyga varians in Cook Islands has a partial longitudinal split starting from the posterior end.

We then have the first report of Holothuria spinifera on the mid-west coast of Western Australia by Murphy and Hart (p. 35).

It is rare to have information from private companies practicing sea cucumber aquaculture. Eeckhaut (p. 39) “gives the floor” to sea cucumber aquaculture farmers and people employed by the company Indian Ocean Trepang to give some details on how sea cucumber farming works in Madagascar through the perspective of the private sector. 

Also coming from Madagascar, Lavitra and colleagues (p. 48) explore local perceptions of the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of sea cucumber farming in the southwestern region during surveys of 298 households, of which 69 are actively engaged in sea cucumber farming.

Corbel and colleagues (p. 59) report of a study study that gave the first large-scale mapping (km scale) of the distribution of holothurian communities on reef flats of La Saline/L’Hermitage, Reunion Island. Fourteen different species of sea cucumbers were surveyed, three of which were dominant: Holothuria leucospilota, Holothuria atra and Stichopus chloronotus.

Finally, Cauvin (p. 65) shares some observations of the retail price of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus at stalls in the two main fish sales markets in Tokyo, Japan.

Also included in this issue are various communications (p. 68), including those published on the web.  Abstracts related sea cucumbers at the 11th European Conference on Echinoderms (Lyon, France) are reproduced on pages 68 to 73. Seven books concerning the biology, ecology or aquaculture of sea cucumbers have been published in recent months (p. 81). We mention the 17th International Echinoderm Conference that will take place in the Canary Islands as well as the opening in September of a new training position in Artisanal Mariculture Sciences and Village Farming. Congratulations to Joséphine Pierrat who presented her thesis at the University of Réunion.

Igor Eeckhaut


Growth, behaviour and survival of cultured juvenile teatfish (Holothuria fuscogilva and H. whitmaei) in French Polynesia.
Burgy L. and Purcell S.W. (pdf: 1.8 MB)
Croissance, comportement et survie en élevage des juvéniles d’holothuries à mamelles (Holothuria fuscogilva et H. whitmaei) en Polynésie française
Burgy L. et Purcell S.W. (pdf: 1.7 MB)
First report of skin ulceration disease from temperate waters of the Northwest Atlantic: The case of the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa
Scott M.M.F., Ma K.C.K., Wolvin S., Hamel J.-F. et Mercier A. (pdf: 350 KB)
The sea cucumber trade in Tunisia: Insights from the central Mediterranean Sea
Chammem H. (pdf: 450 KB)
First observations of Actinopyga cf. flammea Cherbonnier, 1979 in Cook Islands
Morejohn K. et Argyle P. (pdf: 800 KB)
Variation in a  varians: A mutant Actinopyga varians from Cook Islands
Parrish M. (pdf: 350 KB)
Confirmation and extended range of Holothuria spinifera in the Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia
Murphy D. (pdf: 1 MB)
Indian Ocean Trepang (Madagascar) – A private company involved in the blue economy or blue grabbing?
Eeckhaut I. (pdf: 700 KB)
Local perceptions of the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of sea cucumber farming in southwestern Madagascar
Lavitra T., Moridy F., Rabearison M., Rodine C., Rakotomahazo C., LeDon Nomenisoa A., Ranivoarivelo L.N., Rasolofonirina R., Rakotoarimanana A., Franberg C., Troell M., Eeckhaut I. et Todinanahary G.B.G. (pdf: 1.2 MB)
Holothurian communities of Reunion Island’s reef complex within the Natural Marine Reserve
Corbel S., Frouin P., Conand C., Broudic L., Pinault M. et Rungassamy T. (pdf: 700 KB)
Observations récentes sur le prix de vente au détail de l’holothurie (Apostichopus japonicus) sur des étals des deux principaux marchés de ventes de produits halieutiques de Tokyo du Japon, Tsukiji et Toyosu en juillet 2023
Cauvin B. (pdf: 1.2 MB)
(pdf: 1.7 MB)