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Sea cucumbers offer a range of health, medicinal, and mystic benefits and properties, are used to produce pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. They are highly sought after in China and other parts of Asia.

In china, the sea cucumber industry is highly valued at AUD$5 billion per annum 90% of sea cucumber is consumed in Asia.

Increasing demand for beche-de-mer along with steady price increases has led to worldwide intensification of sea cucumber harvesting (Conand, 2004). The worldwide supply of high quality beche-de-mer would not be sufficient to satisfy the Asian market demand, unless a viable sea cucumber aquaculture develops to partially replace the steady decrease in wild stocks (Ivy and Giraspy, 2006).

With Global stocks dwindling and key species facing extinction, global demands remains strong. As a result of this, prices are increasing rapidly (fetching up to $650USD per kilogram).

Attention is quickly turning to aquaculture or mariculture; methods of farming sea cucumber. Mariculture provides skills and income for local fishermen.

Aquaculture or mariculture as a proportion of world seafood production is growing as ‘capture fishing’ decreases.


Why Sea Cucumber?


  • Eaten by humans for centuries
  • Harvested from waters many parts of the world for past 1000 years
  • Eaten in soups, raw as sushi and appetizers and delicacies
  • Raw or pickled body and internal organs are called “kono wata” by the Japanese
  • Salted or sundried body wall is known worldwide as “beche de mer” (“beast of the sea”)
  • Very high in protein (> 70% by weight)

Medicinal / Health

  • Reportedly valuable in reducing arthritis pain and treating osteoarthritis (rich source of the polysaccharide chondroitin sulfate); as little as three 3 grams per day of dried sea cucumber has been helpful in significantly reducing arthralgia (similar action to glucosamine sulfate)
  • Japanese patent exists for sea cucumber chondroitin sulfate for HIV therapy
  • Mystic/aphrodisiac properties
  • Claimed cancer-inhibiting properties
  • Supplement promoting health and virility (source: PAC International Inc.)

Key Markets: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia