The Possible Future of Farming Sea Cucumbers
In British Columbia Canada there are currently a number of aquaculture operations taking place within the Pacific Ocean that produce a large portion of the world’s farmed salmon and trout. Recent collaborations between Fisheries and Oceans Canada Pacific Biological Station, industry partners and First nations have been working to expand the aquaculture industry to include sea cucumber farming.
The California Sea Cucumber is native to British Columbia and 1400 tonnes of wild product brought in a wholesale value of $6.5m CAD in 2012. With the demand for this product in place the researchers are working to answer a number of questions and challenges that may arise if this species is farmed. Click here to read more about what the research findings show!
With the possibility of farming another species on the West coast, the need to observe and closely monitor operations will grow in the area. Because of the challenges that could come along with farming sea cucumbers, observation using an ROV may prove to be very helpful for farmers by ensuring that all of their underwater infrastructure (nets, benthic cages, etc.) are maintained. If farmed, being able to observe how the species copes with being produced could be very interesting for ocean observers and marine biologists alike. Though there are still a number of challenges to overcome, the possibility of farming sea cucumbers is getting closer and we are excited to see what comes of it!