Sea Cucumber Aquaculture

Photo: Pepe Brix

Sea Cucumber Aquaculture

Photo: Pepe Brix

About us

WANGUMAQUA SLU starts as a Mercedes Wangüemert personal project in 2022. This company focuses its main activity on sea cucumber and macro-algae aquaculture, implementing some projects on integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA) systems. WANGUMAQUA SLU is also providing consultancy services on sea cucumber aquaculture and fisheries management.

The foundation of WANGUMAQUA SLU is the logic step followed by Dr. Wangüemert to consolidate her career, after 18 years of experience on Mediterranean and NE Atlantic sea cucumber aquaculture and fisheries, also working with some tropical species (link CV).

WANGUMAQUA SLU is placed in Canary islands (NE Atlantic, Spain). This location was selected considering the potential for sea cucumber aquaculture existing in those islands, mainly justified by the temperate/warm weather, constant and high water temperature, good quality of sea water, presence of several sea cucumber commercial species in the islands, optimal availability of infrastructures andservices, good transport network and of course, tax advantages. Also, taking in account the particularities of aquaculture systems already working in Canary islands, WANGUMAQUA SLU has other market niches creating IMTA systems with fattening of sea cucumber juveniles and pre-adults linked with the fish cages, or co-culture of sea cucumber and macroalgae. The closeness of African countries with high aquaculture potential and optimal connectivity from Canary islands, has also influenced on the selection of the best place to create and grow WANGUMAQUA SLU.

WANGUMAQUA SLU is also developing projects in other locations including the South Spain (Cádiz), with co-culture of sea cucumber, green algae and fish in estuaries and marshes “esteros”, and pilot sea cucumber aquaculture projects in other countries from Mediterranean and Atlantic regions.

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Products

  • Producing juveniles allocated to fattening in other companies.

  • Main product obtained from sea cucumber. Body wall of the animal eviscerated, clean, cooked and dried.

  • Producing macroalgae for the formulation and preparation of dry diets.

Consultancy services

  • The sea cucumber aquaculture provides a high production to cover the increasing demand of this product from Asian countries. sea cucumber production is showed as a good option to decrease the fishery pressure on wild stocks and can also be considered a management tool for further restocking actions (if they are advisable).

  • Most of the sea cucumber stocks are depleted or overexploited around the world. A right stock assessment is mandatory previous to the development of a fishery focused on these target species; the establishment of a strict management of those fisheries is also advisable to avoid over-exploitation.

  • Improvements on sea cucumber aquaculture should be adding constantly through the research focused on new target species, diets and innovation on hatchery/nursery technologies to increase the survival rates and production, getting also higher quality and diversity on selling products.

  • Sea cucumber can be considered as new commercial resource on countries from Mediterranean and NE Atlantic coasts; same situation on some African and Central American countries. Scarce consultants specialized on this resource are available on these geographical areas, therefore it is necessary to train new people on sea cucumber aquaculture and fishery management fields.

Sea Cucumber Aquaculture

Global fish production reached about 179 million tonnes in 2018 according last data provided by FAO (https://www.fao.org/3/ca9229en/ca9229en.pdf), with a total first sale value estimated at USD 401 billion, of which 82 million tonnes, valued at USD 250 billion, came from aquaculture production. Aquaculture accounted for 46 % of the total production and 52% of fish for human consumption.

Sea cucumber is an important economical resource considering its high and increasing demand from Asian countries, where they are consumed as food but also, as source of essential micronutrients and bioactive molecules. In 2016, it was reached the maximum of sea cucumber aquaculture production (204.7 thousand tonnes), decreasing in 2018 (176.8 thousand tonnes) (https://www.fao.org/3/ca9229en/ca9229en.pdf).

The Apostichopus japonicus’ culture (sea cucumber commercial species) is one of the most profitable aquaculture systems in China. However, aquaculture of other target sea cucumber species has already been developed, including some species distributed in the NE Atlantic and Mediterranean such as Holothuria arguinensis, Holothuria mammata, Holothuria forskali and Holothuria sanctori or from Mediterranean Sea (Holothuria tubulosa and Holothuria polii).

News

Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA)

SEA CUCUMBER, GREEN MACROALGAE AND FISH CULTURE IN EXTENSIVE SYSTEMS (“ESTEROS”)

The farming in Cádiz Bay is based on extensive fish aquaculture. The fish production in these systems should be improved to increase its profitability through an adequate management, but also with investments for innovation focused on diversification of target species and development of polycultures and/or Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) systems.

FATTENING OF JUVENILES AND PRE-ADULTS OF SEA CUCUMBERS LINKED WITH FISH CAGES PRODUCTION

There are some concerns linked to intensive aquaculture such as production of nutrient-rich waste, that could cause eutrophication.
Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) promotes the re-use of waste by including different trophic groups and improving the sustainability of feeding.