CUMFISH: Sea cuCUMbers: the new resource for a hungry FISHery


FCT (Fundação para la Ciência e a Tecnologia), Portugal
European Union: Erasmus Program, EMBC (International Master of Science: Marine Biodiversity and Conservation)


Sea cucumbers: the new resource for a hungry fishery (CUMFISH) was leaded by Dr. Mercedes Wangüemert and funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, PTDC/MAR/119363/2010). This project counted with international collaborators including Dr. Chantal Conand, Dr. Sven Uthicke and Dr. Mehmet Aydin.
The main goal of the CUMFISH project was to study the incipient sea cucumber fisheries from the Mediterranean Sea and NE Atlantic Ocean. More precisely, the aims were: 1) to clarify the taxonomic status of holothurian target species, 2) to increase the knowledge of biological features of these species, 3) to assess the genetic diversity and gene flow between populations, 4) to identify potential stocks, 5) to quantify the captures from these incipient fisheries, 6) to assess the effects of human selection (fishery) on sea cucumber stocks, and 7) to suggest management measures for the sustainability of their fisheries.
All objectives were reached, being this project fundamental to obtain a real “view” of the sea cucumber fisheries status in the Mediterranean and NE Atlantic regions. Also, this project allowed to Dr. Wangüemert to have valuable information to start working on sea cucumber aquaculture, and getting success on the induction to reproduction of Holothuria arguinensis, larvae maintenance and obtaining juveniles, which was a real “revolution” on the aquaculture field in Europe.

Portugal, Turkey, Spain, Australia, French Polynesia