6 Mar 2017

Sandfish hatchery opens in Vanuatu

11:29 am on 6 March 2017

A new hatchery in Vanuatu is aiming to boost the country's near depleted stocks of sandfish with a sustainable model for its commercialisation.

A beach in Vanuatu.

Photo: RNZI

The hatchery opened last week in Havannah Harbour and is the first privately owned and operated sandfish hatchery in Vanuatu.

Sandfish is a type of sea cucumber which is harvested and processed into a dried form called beche-de-mer and traded annually throughout Asia.

Dr Michel Bermudes from the Pacific Community is helping with the establishment of the hatchery and said if the hatchery's sustainable model was successful it could be established in other parts of the region.

"We'd make sure we had a process in place to try to replicate this model in other countries. We have a project currently in Kiribati as well looking at re-stocking the reef with sandfish also and many many countries in the Pacific are into this type of model."