A decade of Sea Cucumber Fishing in Egypt, a Boom and Bust Case Study

Mohammed I. Ahmed



Invertebrate's fisheries have expanded both in term of values and catch worldwide in the last few years. Bech-de-Mer or dried sea cucumber (Holothiriedae) is highly valuable in the Asian market and the high demand for the Egyptian species led to overexploitation and change in species composition, in this study we assesses the ecological impact of sea cucumber fishing along the Egyptian coast of the Red sea after 10 years (from 2004 to 2014) of sea cucumber fishing, re visiting six different areas along the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea and before and after the overexploitation process. Over 10 year's period, the abundance of 6 commercial sea cucumber species declined dramatically, with some commercial species been totally removed from certain areas. Our results showed a significant change in species composition of sea cucumber and the replacement by non- commercial species to the commercial species as a result of overfishing activities.

Key words: Bech-de-mer. Sea cucumber, Red Sea, Overfishing, Species composition

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