After three years of research and development, the company has now achieved a biological cycle of sea cucumber in harvest conditions, ensuring the sustainability of the production.
Around 90 tons of sea cucumber is expected to be harvested within the first year.
The National Prawn Company (NPC) has put years of work into this project which will guarantee a sustainable marine base production to fulfill the market’s needs and maintain a balanced marine life.
Pointing out this achievement, Engineer Ahmad R. Al-Ballaa, Managing Director of NPC and board chairman of Saudi Aquaculture Society, said: “We own the pride of achieving such a big project which is one of its kind in the region.”
“Our first steps and achievements on this long path were the ones towards a successful shrimp project which are followed by the fish projects that are getting thumbs up worldwide. An additional milestone in this journey would be the Sea Cucumber brood stock’s ability to lay its eggs, producing 23 million larvae. This will ensure availability of a stock for coming years of wild mothers, which are belonging to the different strains that has been collected from different places in coasts of Saudi Arabia.”
In the same context, manager of the sea cucumber project, Mr Mario Umundab, said: “Breeding Sea Cucumber in such high saline water and a very hot environment was never an easy task. Attentive monitoring on a daily basis for three consecutive years was a mandatory task that played a major role in guaranteeing its survival. It was a major reward for quite a hardworking and sacrificing team that has set a sustainable marine life development as one of its main goals."
Sea cucumber products are not known by Saudi society, in spite of its various medical and environmental benefits. It is not traded in the local market yet, and that is why the company is currently targeting the international markets with their increasing demand for sea cucumber, including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
As for its environmental benefit, an adult Sea Cucumber is capable of cleaning/purifying four tons of sand each year as whirling the sand to find its daily supply of food is its natural way of hunting and survival, which in turn is the best way to purify the sand and facilitating its process of getting rid of organic residues. Its twirling and daily journey of food hunting maintains a balanced PH rate in seawater and plays a vital role in separating petroleum waste, gathering it in small dumplings that descend to the sea core.