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Seafarms for joint cultivation of invertebrates and seaweeds

Victor V. Ivin mail.gif (100 bytes) and Sergey I. Maslennikov mail.gif (100 bytes)

Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences

Mariculture is one of the fast growing directions of marine biotechnology. This direction deals with commercial cultivation of valuable invertebrates and seaweeds. This project provides joint cultivation of Ezo Scallop Mizuhopecten yessoensis, Japanese kelp Laminaria japonica and Common sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus. The project was prepared according to the Program of Socioeconomic Stabilization in Primorye Territory on 1999 2003 years, (resolution of the Governor No. 84 from 01 March 1999). The main activity of this project is included to the perspective directions of U.S. - Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation. The biotechnology used in the project was awarded the Grant of the Governor of Primorye Territory. Scallop and Kelp cultivation is carried out on deep-water maricultural structures that placed under the water. The constructions of structures applied in the project are original development of one of the authors and are protected by patent of Russian Federation No. 2149541.

The process of cultivation in mariculture consists of two steps. The first step is deriving of invertebrates' juveniles and seaweed seedlings. And second step is their cultivation up to a crop deriving. For the scallops and sea cucumbers at the first step of cultivation are used juveniles, which are collected on the specially intended for it collectors. Hereinafter, scallops juveniles spat transplant to cages for its cultivation up to a crop deriving. Juveniles of sea cucumber transplant onto the specially prepared bottom ground plantations. As a result of this action their abundance at the bottom communities will be increasing. Kelp seedlings make at laboratory conditions using simple technology. Seedlings with a rope substrate transfer to the sea for further cultivation. Thus, we use floating and bottom cultivation of sea organisms.

The duration of technological cycles of the kelp cultivation about 1.5 years, scallop and sea cucumber 3 and 4 years, accordingly. One hectare of seafarms can give up to 400 thousand market sized scallops. It is equal about 8 tons of scallops meat. Kelp productivity not less than 50 ton in wet weight or about 10 ton on dry weights. Technology of sea cucumber cultivation can give up to 10 thousand market sized individuals. The reputed profitability of the seafarms will make about 15-18 %.

The world experiences of mariculture evidenced the necessity of seafarms transposition from the closed bays to open waters. The offered technology uses open seawaters with depths more than 30 meters, which are unsuitable for traditional mariculture. The shallow bays with depths of 10-15 meters will be used only during a short period (not longer 6 months) for the scallop spat and sea cucumber juveniles collection. Area, which will be occupied by maricultural structures, will no more than 33 % from general area for seafarm making. The remaining water space will be used as reserve for rotation of areas occupied under cultivation of sea organisms. After termination of each biotechnological cycle the plantations will displace on a new place. It will allow keeping areas that used in mariculture practically at a native status. Such turnover of used squares to allow using seafarms long-lived time, without negative environmental impact. Such scheme of plantations turnover is applied in agriculture during long-lived time and is recommended at scallop cultivation in Japan.

This project is long-term, that is defined by biotechnological cycles of cultivated organisms. Its realization is supposed in two stages. First, duration 3 years from the moment of deriving the investments should pay back the tentative investments. And second, since 4 years of operation under the project, provides transition to self-repayment and self-financing of production.

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