Fishery resources – Towards the valorization of sea cucumbers

The sea cucumber industry is on the right track. The Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy aims to promote the sea cucumber sector.

“We can say that the sea cucumber sector is not yet very developed in Madagascar. About 1,500 tons of sea cucumbers are produced in Madagascar every year and almost all of them are exported because the local population does not consume them. This marine fauna is threatened with extinction, because being a sedentary species, it moves slowly in the water and thus becomes easy prey for fishermen. Also, the development of this sector is part of the policy of the ministry because it is a sector which can bring a lot to the State”, according to Étienne Bemanaja, director general of Fisheries, with the ministry.

The Ministry of Fisheries will tend towards the breeding of sea cucumbers with the actors and partners in order to better promote this sector. Sea cucumbers are found in abundance around Toliara, where they are exploited by a private company cooperating with a committee of local fishermen. Similarly in Antalaha, the ministry collaborates with a private farm for the breeding of these animals.

“Sea cucumbers are endangered. This is why the ministry extends their breeding. A breeding reserve is under construction in Ambanja and this project will soon be implemented in collaboration with the private sector and groups of local fishermen,” added the Director General of Fisheries.

According to current regulations, only sea cucumbers over 11 cm can be fished. A ministerial order defines the fees in this area.

Royalty fee

Thus, an individual collector pays 1,100,000 ariary as an annual fee, while a collection company pays 1,600,000 ariary. In addition, the export quota amounts to 2,900 ariary per kilo of processed product.

“The ministry is in the process of setting up this quota of 2,900 ariary in order to give impetus to this sector. This quota will further bail out the coffers of the State because previously the amount paid by exporters was fixed at 1,000,000 ariary per year”, continues Étienne Bemanaja.

Currently the Ministry of Fisheries is in the process of consulting with the actors of the sector for the effective implementation of this quota.

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