Sandfish (Holothuria scabra) production and sea-ranching trial in Fiji

Hair, Cathy (2012) Sandfish (Holothuria scabra) production and sea-ranching trial in Fiji. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Proceedings, 136. pp. 129-141.

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Abstract

There is presently enormous interest in the Pacific islands region in restoring depleted sea cucumber fisheries with hatchery-produced juveniles. The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research funded projects in Fiji to transfer technology for culturing and sea ranching of sandfish (Holothuria scabra, known locally as 'dairo'). Two hatcheries that respectively produce blacklip pearl oyster and penaeid shrimp were successfully used to culture sandfish. Government aquaculture officers and private-sector hatchery technicians were trained in sandfish production methods. Successful spawning and rearing to the small juvenile stage were carried out at both hatcheries but, due to factors such as cyclones and equipment failure, only one of the hatchery runs produced about 500 large juveniles for a release trial. An extensive seagrass bed on a shallow sand flat in front of Natuvu village, Vanua Levu, met the criteria for suitable habitat for sea ranching, and the community was committed to the research. The juveniles were released into four 100-m² sea pens (two pens each of small and large juveniles, 1–3 g and >3–10 g, respectively). Survival after 6 months was around 28% overall (23% for small and 33% for large sandfish). The Natuvu community ceased harvest of sandfish from the wild prior to the project starting, and also declared a marine protected area (MPA) around the sea-ranching site. An unanticipated benefit of the project was an increase in other valuable sea cucumber species in their MPA, which were harvested for a one-off community fundraising event.

Item ID: 24747
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1447-0837
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2013 23:08
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070401 Aquaculture @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8301 Fisheries - Aquaculture > 830107 Aquaculture Tuna @ 100%
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