Reports on the Seychelles sea cucumber fishery and exportation of bêche-de-mer (dried sea cucumber) go as far as back as the 1800’s. During those years catch was quite low and the fishery was considered as fairly unimportant. However in the late nineties the fishery took off due an increase in demand and higher prices being offered for bêche-de-mer on the international market. Initially the fishery was a collector-type, whereby fishers collected sea cucumbers on foot but it eventually evolved to a more sophisticated one where most of the harvesting is done by divers using SCUBA gears in deeper water. The sea cucumber are then dried and exported, with their main market being South East Asia.

For a long time the fishery was open access with no management measures in place, but with increase in fishing pressure and little to no information on the status of the stock the SFA introduced some management measure in 1999. Currently the sea cucumber fishery is managed through a combination of  measures such as open-closed seasons, fishing and processing licenses, quota on the number of licenses available, catch and effort reporting, processor reporting, quota allocation alongside a number of other measures.   

Some of the main species targeted by the fishery are:                                                  

                Thelenota ananas (Sanpye): Prickly Red Fish

Holothuria nobilis (Cocosier Noir): Black Teat Fish 

Holothuria spp. (flower teatfish): Pentard

Holothuria fuscogilva (Cocosier blanc) White teatfish