Biology and fishery management of the White Sea Urchin, Tripneutus ventricosus, in the eastern Caribbean
The white sea urchin, Tripneustes ventricosus, is common in shallow coastal waters of the tropical Atlantic Ocean, and is widely distributed in the Caribbean Sea. The species supports small-scale, commercially important, seasonal fisheries in several islands in the eastern Caribbean including Barbados, Martinique (France) and Saint Lucia, and minor subsistence fisheries in Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. However, despite significant management and conservation efforts by some countries, white sea urchin population abundance has declined locally. Understanding the large fluctuations in local population size and implementing sound management practices in the white sea urchin fisheries is critical to the sustainable use of this resource in the future, and would benefit considerably from a sharing of information and management experiences. To this end, this circular has attempted to collate both published and unpublished information on the white sea urchin and its fisheries in the eastern Caribbean and perspectives on past and current management of these fisheries.