Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development
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Beche-de-mer (BDM) fishery in Fiji dates back to over two centuries. This trade was initiated by the Chinese communities
in the early 1800?s for its delicacy and medicinal properties. The offer of the value for the BDM was very high and this
prompted the Fijian communities to harvest bulk of sea cucumbers from high to low value species. The most fished species
(Sandfish) due to its high demand from the Asian markets. Due to over harvesting Fijian government
emphasized a permanent ban on
from exports and as a result
(White teatfish) became the next target
species for harvests. In addition to the ban an export size limit of 7.62cm was placed on dried beche-de-mer products. The data
in this study was gathered through direct interviews with the fishers/harvesters and the senior fisheries officials in Fiji Islands
dealing with the sea cucumber fishery in a way to improving BDM fishery in Fiji Islands. With the current high value species
(White teatfish and Black teatfish (
)) harvested at a considerable rate, there is no management plan to replace the
current declining stock. The findings from this study indicated that Fiji lacks sustainable harvesting of sea cucumber sand
does not have any seasonal closures. The fishers were allowed to harvest all year around. This study highly recommended for
an effective management plan be in placed in Fiji for the betterment of BDM fishery and a time scale be given for the current
stock to recover.
Roveena Vandana Chand is a current Post Graduate student and a Teaching Assistant at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji Islands. Her current field
involves sustainable management and conservation of marine resources that are on a verge of getting endangered or are facing extinction. She has a keen interest
in marine and plant biology conservation.
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