Sea cucumber, a good alternative for lobster divers. (Photo: SAG)
Cultivation of sea cucumber encouraged
Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 03:40 (GMT + 9)
In order to diversify the production of the national fisheries sector, the Honduran government encourages the cultivation of sea cucumber. It is estimated that this activity will allow the generation of 300 direct new jobs and revenues of HNL 25 million (USD 1.2 million) during the first year.
According to the deputy minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG), Juan Carlos Ordoñez, this project will help promote and consolidate the commercial production, La Tribuna newspaper informs.
It will also be an alternative activity for fishermen who catch lobsters by diving in the area of La Mosquitia.
"We must bear in mind that divers will no longer be able to dive for lobsters from June next year, so we have to offer alternatives to these fishermen, and the cultivation of sea cucumber can be one of these great alternatives. We are taking the first steps to what the cultivation entails", said the official.
This initiative was presented at a recent meeting attended by the prestigious Mexican investigator Miguel Olvera Novoa and representatives of the fisheries offices of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.
The promoters intend to raise sea cucumber in ponds such as those used for the shrimp, with salinity, oxygen and temperature suitable for growing the specimens.
They hope to achieve optimum size and quality of sea cucumbers to compete in the international market.
Ordoñez announced that in the first half of 2012, two pilot projects will be started: the cultivation of freshwater bass and octopus farming in captivity.
Currently, Honduras has more than 230 bodies of water, which can be exploited to grow lots of important cultivations that can generate foreign exchange and jobs in the country, added the SAG official.
The main consumers of sea cucumber are China, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand.
By Analia Murias