Breakthrough in sea cucumber culture

KOTA KINABALU: Borneo Green Aquaculture Sdn Bhd, a company incorporated in Malaysia and a member company of the Borneo Green Group of Companies, has responded to the invitation to exhibit its technologies for the breeding, seed production and culture of sea cucumbers (species name is Holothuria Scabra) during the state-level Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen Day from November 14 to 18 at the KPD Marketing Complex, Tanjung Lipat, Likas here.

Financial adviser to Borneo Green Aquaculture, Lee Sun Sui, said the company’s only hatchery complex in Sabandar, Tuaran, commenced operation in April 2011 and only achieved its successful spawning in October 2011.

“Borneo Green Aquaculture Sdn Bhd has produced 250,000 juveniles sea cucumbers. The company is currently expanding its facilities in its hatchery in Sabandar to increase production capacity from 250,000 juvenile sea cucumbers per month to 500,000,” Lee said at a press conference at the company’s booth in KPD Marketing Complex yesterday.

Lee said the company had aggressively conducted research and development in growout techniques in the district of Kudat. It has so far released 200,000 juveniles into growout test sites. The results have been very encouraging. Further experiments are currently being carried out to optimize culture conditions and production.

Lee also said the company’s future developments include the setting up of a processing plant in Kudat which processes the beche-de-mer (smoked-dry sea cucumber) for export.

He stressed that the wild sea cucumbers are regularly collected by fishermen along the coastal areas in Sabah. This excessive fishing had made the stock of wild sea cucumbers dwindle drastically. The loss of critical stocks of wild sea cucumber is likely to have a significant impact on the ecosystem condition and the adjacent marine environment, as a whole.

Lee added that there is an urgent need for developing a technology for seed production and culture of sea cucumbers in Sabah. The present work undertaken by the company could play a vital role in providing social and economic stability to the industry players and fishermen as a whole.

Sea cucumbers are widely consumed for food and traditional nutraceutical throughout Asian and Middle Eastern communities today. The sea cucumber trade is now one of the world’s fastest growing international seafood industries and the demand for sea cucumbers is far from being met.

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