The Omani sandfish sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra Jaeger, 1833 (Holothuroidea: Holothuriidae): Fishery, length-Weight relationship and condition factor

Saud M. Al Jufaili, Khalfan M. Al Rashidi, Iman S. Al Kharusi


The fishery of Omani sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra, is limited so far to the Mahout Bay in Al Wusta governorate. This fishery supports an uncertain number of fishermen ranging from 100 to 150. This fishery is not well-studied and has no current management program. In order to prepare a management strategy, the government has suspended this fishery for 2 years from March 2018 to March 2021. Apart from presenting a thorough review on the sea cucumber fishery in Oman, the current work presents a detailed analysis of the length–weight relationship, sex ratio, and condition factor of the H. scabra collected from four different areas during the period February-May 2019. Based on the results, the females were longer than males, that is 226±33.4 and 221±37.8 mm, respectively. The overall sex ratio of the entire/pooled sample was 0.49 which was not different from the anticipated theoretical sex ratio of 0.5. The mean Kn and the empirical weight–length equations for the total sample were between 0.12±0.01 and 1.0±0.16, and W=0.03L1.6, respectively.


Echinodermata, Holothuroidea, Fisheries management, Oman Sea.

Full Text:



Agudo N. (2006). Sandfish Hatchery Techniques. Nouméa, New Caledonia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and The World Fish Center. 43 p.

Al-Rashdi K.M., Claereboudt M.R., Al-Busaidi S.S. (2007). Density and size distribution of the sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra (Jaeger, 1935), at six exploited sites in Mahout Bay, Sultanate of Oman. Journal of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, 12: 43-51.

Arsad N.A., Othman R., Shaleh S.R.M. (2017). Reproductive pattern of sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra at two different sites in Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Natural Sciences Research, 7(20): 67-78.

Aydin M. (2017). Present status of the sea cucumber fishery in Turkey. SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin, 37: 30-34.

Battaglene S.C., Bell J.D. (1999). Potential of the tropical Indo-Pacific sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra, for stock enhancement. In: B.R. Howell, E. Moksness, T. Svasand (Eds.). Proceedings of the first international symposium on stock enhancement and sea ranching. Oxford, UK: Fishing News Books, Blackwell Science. pp: 478-490.

Battaglene S., Bell J. (2004). The restocking of sea cucumbers in the Pacific Islands. In: D. Bartley, K. Leber (Eds.). Case Studies in Marine Ranching. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper, No. 429. Rome: FAO. pp: 109-128.

Bumrasarinpai R. (2006). Overview of issues on concerned aquatic species under the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES), in regional technical consultation on international fisheries related issues: WP03.

Claereboudt M.R., Al-Rashdi K.M. (2011). Shallow-water sea cucumbers inventory in the Sultanate of Oman. SPC Beche de mer Information Bulletin, 31: 25-29.

Conand C. (1990). The fishery resources of Pacific island countries. Part 2: Holothurians. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. Geneva: FAO. pp: 143.

Conand C. (1996). Asexual reproduction by fission in Holothuria atra: variability of some parameters in populations from the tropical Indo-Pacific. Oceanologia Acta, 19(3-4): 209-216.

Conand C. (2008). Population status, fisheries and trade of sea cucumbers in Africa and the Indian Ocean. In: V. Toral-Granda, A. Lovatelli, M. Vasconcellos (Eds.). Sea Cucumbers: A Global Review of Fisheries and Trade, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 516. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization. pp: 143-193.

Conand C., Uthicke S., Hoareau T. (2002). Sexual and asexual reproduction of the holothurian Stichopus chloronotus (Echinodermata): a comparison between La Réunion (Indian Ocean) and east Australia (Pacific Ocean). Invert. Invertebrate Reproduction and Development, 41(1-3): 235-242.

Hartati R., Endrawati H. (2016). The Growth of Sea cucumber Stichopus herrmanni After Transverse Induced Fission in Two and Three Fission Plane. Indonesian Journal of Marine Sciences/Ilmu Kelautan, 21(2).

Hamel J.F, Conand C., Pawson D., Mercier A. (2001). The sea cucumber Holothuria scabra (Holothuroidea: Echinodermata): its biology and exploitation as beche-de-Mer.

Hasan M.H. (2003). Ecology and distribution patterns of the threatened holothuroids as correlated with over-fishing in the Gulf of Aqaba, Northern Red Sea, Egypt. Journal of Egyptian Academic Society of Environmental Development, 4(3): 101-118.

Hassan M.H. (2005). Destruction of a Holothuria scabra population by over fishing at Abu Rhamada Island in the Red Sea. Marine Environmental Research, 60: 489-511.

James D.B. (2001). Twenty sea cucumbers from seas around India. Naga, the ICLARM Quarterly, 24(1-2): 4-8.

Le-Cren E.D. (1951). The length–weight relationship and seasonal cycle in gonad weight and condition in the perch (Perca fluviatilis). The Journal of Animal Ecology, 20: 201-219.

Lee S., Ford A., Mangubhai S., Wild C., Ferse S. (2018). Length-weight relationship, movement rates, and in situ spawning observations of Holothuria scabra (sandfish) in Fiji. SPC Bêche-de-mer Information Bulletin #38, Pacific Community, Noumea. pp: 11-14.

Lokani P. (1990). Beche-de-mer research and development in Papua New Guinea. SPC Beche-de-Mer Information Bulletin, 1: 8-11.

MAF, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (2009). Project final report initial survey of sea cucumber wealth and fisheries in the Sultanate of Oman-Mahut Governorate. 34 p.

Mercier A., Battaglene S.C., Hamel J.F. (1999). Daily burrowing cycle and feeding activity of juvenile sea cucumbers Holothuria scabra in response to environmental factors. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 239: 125-156.

Navarro P.G., Sara Garcia-Sanz., Fernando T. (2012). Reproductive biology of the sea cucumber Holothuria sanctori (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) (Barcelona, Spain). Scientia Marina, 76(4): 741-752.

Omar H.A., Abdel Razek F.A., Abdel Rahman S.H., El Shimy N.A. (2013). Reproductive periodicity of sea cucumber Bohadschia vitiensis (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) in Hurghada area, Red Sea, Egypt. The Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research, 39(2): 115-123.

Pauly D. (1983). Some simple methods for the assessment of tropical fish stocks. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. 234: 2.

Pauly D. (1984). Fish population dynamics in tropical water: a manual for use with programmable calculators. ICLARM Stud. Rev. 8: 325 p.

Preston G. (1988). Beche-de-Mer Exploitation in Fiji. Inshore Fisheries Research Project Country Assignment Report. Noumea, South Pacific Commission.

Purcell S.W., Eriksson H., Byrne M. (2016). Rotational zoning systems in multi-species sea cucumber fisheries. SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin, 36: 3-8.

Skewes T., Dennis D., Taylor S., Haywood M., Donovan A. (2006). Sustainability assessment for the Torres Strait Beche-de-Mer Fishery. Report prepared for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority Torres Strait Research Program, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Venkataraman C. (2007). Present status of population of holothurians in India. FAO-BOBLME. 58 p.

Veronika K., Edrisinghe U., Sivashanthini K., Athauda A.R. (2018). Length–weight relationships of four different sea cucumber species in North-East coastal region of Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research, 29(2): 212-217.

Yanti A., Tresnati J., Yasir I., Syafiuddin P.Y., Rahmani R.A., Tuwo A. (2020). Size at the maturity of sea cucumber Holothuria scabra. Is it an overfishing sign in Wallacea Region? IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 473(1): 012056.


  • There are currently no refbacks.