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Co-culture of sea cucumber Holothuria scabra and red seaweed Kappaphycus striatum

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Selina Stead, Dr Matthew Slater


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Commercially valuable sea cucumbers are potential co-culture species in tropical lagoon environments, where they may be integrated into established aquaculture areas used for seaweed farming. In the current study, wild-caught juvenile sea cucumbers, Holothuria scabra, and red seaweed Kappaphycus striatum were co-cultured on Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania. Sea cucumbers (97 g +/- 31 SD, n = 52) were cultured in mesh enclosures at initial cage stocking densities of 124 +/- 21 SD and 218 +/- 16 SD g m(-2) under seaweed culture lines. Over 83 days, individual growth rate (1.6 g d(-1) +/- 0.2 SD) of sea cucumbers at low stocking density was significantly higher (chi(2) = 8.292, d.f. = 1, P = 0.004) than at high-stocking density (0.9 g d(-1) +/- 0.1 SD). Seaweed individual growth rates [6.27 (+/- 0.3 SE) g d(-1)] were highest in co-culture with sea cucumber at low density but did not differ significantly from high sea cucumber density or seaweed monoculture treatments (chi(2) = 3.0885, d.f. = 2, P = 0.2135). Seaweed growth varied significantly (chi(2) = 35.6, d.f. = 2, P < 0.0001) with sampling period, with the final sampling period resulting in the highest growth rate. Growth performance for seaweed and sea cucumbers (chi(2) = 3.089, d.f. = 2, P = 0.21 and chi(2) = 0.08, d.f. = 1, P = 0.777 respectively), did not differ significantly between monoculture and co-culture treatments, yet growth in co-culture was comparable with that reported for existing commercial monoculture. Results indicate H. scabra is a highly viable candidate species for lagoon co-culture with seaweed. Co-culture offers a more efficient use of limited coastal space over monoculture and is recommended as a potential coastal livelihood option for lagoon farmers in tropical regions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Beltran-Gutierrez M, Ferse SCA, Kunzmann A, Stead SM, Msuya FE, Hoffmeister TS, Slater MJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Aquaculture Research

Year: 2016

Volume: 47

Issue: 5

Pages: 1549-1559

Print publication date: 01/05/2016

Online publication date: 13/10/2014

Acceptance date: 13/10/2014

ISSN (print): 1355-557X

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2109

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/are.12615


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