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Beche De Mer
(Sea Cucumber - Trepang)

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Lolly Fish Sea Cucumber (Holothuria atra) Photographs and Information



Sea Cucumbers or Beche-De-Mer are cylindrical, elongated or worm-like shape. They are found in a variety of colours ranging from pitch black to white and light yellow, and are generally designed to blend in with their habitat.

Cylindrical with a smooth body surface.

Black, always with fine covering of sand except for the circular patches along the sides. If the body surface is rubbed vigorously a red fluid is discharged.

This is the most common species in the region and can be found in most types of habitats. Average density is several hundred animals per hectare, but may reach several thousand per hectare in some atoll lagoons


Lollyfish


Processed Lollyfish

snappegoldbanmap1.jpg (3659 bytes)

Scientific Name  

Holothuria atra

 

Size  

Length 10 - 50 cm Width 3 - 8 cm Body wall thickness 2 - 6 mm Live weight 0.2 -1.5 kg

 


About Lollyfish Sea Cucumber:

Grading Beche-De-Mer or Sea Cucumber

External and Internal Features of Sea Cucumbers

Exporters, Importers & Processors, Wholesale & Agents of Sea Cucumber, Beche-de-mer  - Worldwide Trade Seafood Industry Directory of companies and contacts who are Exporters, Importers & Processors, Wholesale & Agents of Sea Cucumber


Commercial Fishing for Sea-Cucumber | Beche-de-Mer | Trepang

Trepang fisheries in northern Australia date back to at least the 1700s, when Macassans from Celebes (Sulawesi Island group, Indonesia) visited northern Australia to fish for these species. The term trepang refers to the dried body wall of holothurian sea cucumbers, whereas the term bÍche-de-mer refers to the cooked body wall.

The principal target species in this fishery is sandfish (Holothuria scabra). It prefers coastal areas with soft sediment substrate and is often found in beds of seagrass, which plays an important role in triggering larval settlement. In late 2007, the fishery was re-assessed against the Australian Governmentís Guidelines for the Ecologically Sustainable Management of Fisheries. As a result, the fishery received certification as an accredited Wildlife Trade Operation (WTO) under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The assessment demonstrated that the fishery was managed in a manner that does not lead to over-fishing, and that fishing operations have minimal impact on the structure, productivity, function and biological diversity of the ecosystem. The fishery is currently undergoing reassessment.

Area

The fishery operates in waters to 3 nautical miles (nm) seaward of baselines (i.e. the NT coastline and surrounding islands). Most of the effort occurs along the Arnhem Land coast, the major harvest areas being around Cobourg Peninsula and Groote Eylandt.



Fishing Method

Sandfish is the most important species for tropical sea cucumber fisheries. It is one of the few tropical sea cucumber species that prefer coastal areas to coral reefs. Harvesting of sandfish usually takes place by walking at low tide and diving in shallow coastal bays and foreshores. Snorkel, scuba and hookah may be used when diving for trepang. Collection is generally limited to neap tides and the dry season when visibility in water improves and cyclone activity is minimal.

Catch

The total harvest of trepang was low during most of the 1990s before peaking at 333 tonnes in 2000. Since 2000, the harvest has varied, largely in response to fishing effort. Total harvest reported for 2010 was 22.2 tonnes, which is a decline from the 64.6 tonnes harvested in 2009. The 2010 catch is less than a tenth of the annual average catch (235 tonnes) between 1998 and 2007.

No byproduct species were harvested in 2010 owing to the hand-collecting method of harvesting.


 

 


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