A new French sector to produce sea cucumber at Ifremer in Palavas-les-Flots

A new French sector to produce sea cucumber at Ifremer in Palavas-les-Flots

Les holothuries ou concombres de mer du projet Holoprod. Midi Libre – JEAN-MICHEL MART

The Holoprod project, which was launched at the beginning of 2024, aims to create a new French sea cucumber production sector, at Ifremer in Palavas-les-Flots.

Creating and developing a sea cucumber industry in Hérault is the challenge taken by the Holoprod project led by its manager and engineer Erika Gervasoni.

The program has four specific objectives, the production of juvenile sea cucumbers on a large scale, the test of the growth of juveniles in a natural environment with seven production sites including four in Occitanie.

Born at the beginning of 2024 and located in Palavas-les-Flots, Holoprod has already had experimental precedents, with Holosud (2020-2021) and Holonurs (2023).< /p>

Holoprod also wants to transfer know-how to professionals in the maritime world and finally carry out a study on the profitability of the sector.

A missing link

For the program to be a success, three links must be mastered. First of all, the sea cucumber hatchery and nursery, then pre-growing and grow-out and finally processing and marketing.

« Today, we have mastered two. We had four years of work on the nursery while the Barba group took care of the processing and marketing », specifies the project manager.

Only the second link remains to be mastered. On the occasion of the visit of the prefect of Hérault François-Xavier Lauch, Tuesday May 21, Holoprod took the opportunity to launch its first sea cucumbers for their pre-growth and growth.

Exportable cucumbers

« The individuals that we put in the water are five centimeters and weigh a few grams, l&rsquo ;the idea is to have individuals weighing 300 grams and 20 centimeters », hopes the manager.

Spearheaded by the Barba company since 2019, the only group in France or even Europe to be able to export sea cucumbers to Asia, the project has the ambition « to create a new French sea cucumber production sector », according to Erika Gervasoni.

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