Biobank boosts culture of eco-clean sea cucumbers, scallops and grey urchins in the Russian Far East

The introduction of millions of juvenile trepang in the Gulf of Vladimir by OOO Biobank of Primorye in the last six years has led to large abundance of the valuable sea cucumber with the first tonne of the product harvested and sent for processing, according to Vladivostok-based Zolotoy Rog.

In early October 2018 a diver survey on the fish grounds of Biobank disclosed a large amount of commodity trepang on the grounds.

According to Bionbank’s CEO Aleksandr Kolesnikov, divers found market-size trepang on all of the company’s grounds where it was stocked several years ago. They said the sea cucumber was mostly more than 200 grams each, and the mathematic model estimated its stock at several dozens of metric tons. The company’s specialists think it was the generation of the first stockings in 2012-2014. Thus, the scientists were quite right saying that in cold waters trepang grew much more slowly than in warm waters.

Sea scallops

Biobank also grows sea scallops on its grounds. The company's plans provide for an increase of sea scallop output to 1000 metric tons. The sea sites, which have been taken on lease by electronic auction, will help Biobank reach the goal. Actually, that is a real challenge as no other company in the region has ever produced more than 700 tonnes of scallops.

Sea urchins

Following scientific recommendations, last year Biobank launched reproduction of sea urchins.

The area’s sea urchin stocks used to provide a good economic yield for coastal companies. However, hard fishing pressure just like in case with Primorye scallops practically destroyed the local populations. At the right time the scientists gave the cue that sea urchins could not only be fished but farmed as well. The first trials with juvenile reproduction have been completed and their results are promising.

In 2018 the company’s hatchery produced ca.800,000 young sea urchins which were left in Biobank’s tanks for ongrowing until spring. Now one only has to wait and watch them growing to market size.

For the industry reproduction of new aquaculture species will not only diversify the range of aquatic species reproduced in artificial conditions but it will also help Russia win its niche on the Chinese market of ecologically clean seafood.

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