Increasing technical skills supporting community-based sea cucumber production in Vietnam and the Philippines

Project code
AUD 2,565,001
Research program manager
Prof Ann Fleming
Project leader
Paul Southgate - University of Sunshine Coast
OCT 2018
AUG 2023
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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This project is supporting increased production capacity and further expansion of community-based sea cucumber farming in Vietnam and the Philippines. 

Overfishing and poor fisheries management of sea cucumber fisheries in many parts of the tropics has created severe declines in sea cucumber stocks, and even the closure of some fisheries. This has had major impacts on income-generation opportunities for coastal communities. 

However, strong demand for dried sea cucumbers from China and South-East Asian markets, where they can make $200-$400 per kg, provides significant sea cucumber mariculture opportunities for coastal communities throughout South-East Asia, northern Australia and the central Pacific. 

There have been significant developments towards commercial-scale hatchery and grow-out technologies for sandfish (one of the more valuable tropical sea cucumber species).

However, improved technical skills are required to increase reliability of current culture methods and support increased production capacity of community-based sandfish culture in Vietnam and the Philippines.  

This project will further develop technical skills and improve the reliability of culture methods.

Expected project outcomes

  • Expansion of sandfish culture in partner countries providing improved income generation and livelihood options in communities.
  • Economic and social benefits of more reliable culture methods facilitating expansion of sandfish culture and improved productivity.
  • Greater opportunity for community groups to engage with sandfish culture and improved livelihood opportunities, particularly for women.
  • Increased capacity for sustainable culture of sandfish.
  • Improved sandfish farming skills and increased sandfish production.
  • Development of sandfish culture technology to a point supporting scale-out to new sites and communities.
  • Economic and social impacts realised in communities across partner countries. 
Key partners
Guiuan Development Foundation Incorporated
Marine Science Institute - University of the Philippines
Mindanao State University at Naawan
Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact sheet FIS/2016/122