Sea Cucumber Health and Biosecurity: Hatchery and Nursery Guide

  • 202 pages

  • Published: 26 Mar 2024

  • Author(s): Roger Sie-Maen Chong, Kitman Dyrting, Luke Turner, Anu Kumar

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-468-4

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  • Purchase a hard copy - AUD $80

The current farm gate value of sea cucumber (Holothuroidea) is approximately US$4.4 billion, from an overseas market yielding 200,000 tonnes. With demand projected to increase, prices for the dried bêche-de-mer (i.e., sea cucumber) delicacy could surge. In Australia, the sea cucumber industry is in its early stages, characterised by wild catches totalling less than 400 tonnes. Its expansion potential is limited without the establishment of hatcheries and comprehensive guidance for the nursery stage of production.

Recent reviews and research reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have focused on fisheries management and emerging aquaculture techniques, shedding light on parasitic and ulcerative bacterial diseases within the sea cucumber industry. These findings underscore the critical necessity for biosecurity measures to mitigate the translocation of disease agents and pests. While research has highlighted the impacts of viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal agents on the industry overseas, limited information is available for Australian species, such as Holothuria scabra. This manual fills this gap in disease and biosecurity information around hatchery production.

This Sea Cucumber Health and Biosecurity: Hatchery and Nursery Guide is the first instalment in a two-book series aimed at enhancing sea cucumber health and fostering sustainable growth in Australian sea cucumber production. Its primary focus is to provide an updated review of global sea cucumber diseases and stressor-related risks, particularly during the hatchery and nursery stage, which emphasises early life stages within enclosed artificial areas. Complementary to this guidebook is the related publication, Sea Cucumber Health and Biosecurity: Ranching and Grow-Out Guide, which is designed to propel the industry forward, concentrating on later life stages.

This guidebook includes a critical literature review tailored for hatchery and nursery operations, aimed at effective disease management. Presented in a reference-like format, it equips farms with tools to manage disease events and underscores proactive biosecurity measures that should be implemented. Given the significant long-term implications, it strives to help producers improve the success rate of sea cucumber hatchery production by mitigating disease risks and cultivating optimal hatchery and biosecurity conditions, bolstering resilience and facilitating sustainable growth in sea cucumber aquaculture across Australia.