Kauai Sea Farm is in the first year of a multi-year, federally funded project to promote restorative aquaculture of native Hawaiian sea cucumbers. Sea cucumbers are a keystone species for nearshore ecosystems, that are being overfished throughout the world due to high value in export markets. We have successfully spawned and reared larval sea cucumbers, which will be used for grow-out feasibility trials in multiple Hawaiian Fishponds and commercial aquaculture facilities throughout Hawaii.
Kauai Sea Farm has successfully spawned, reared, and marketed our clams for the last 2 years. We are the only producer of the species Merceneria merceneria in the State of Hawaii. This species is differentiated by name in the marketplace according to their size. The largest are called quahog or chowder clam, then smaller cherrystones and the smallest littlenecks. We are currently continuing to raise our production levels of this desirable hard shell clam.
We have developed a land-based nursery system for the grow-out of our oysters which will make growing oysters more efficient and cost-effective and less susceptible to parasites. We are growing several varieties including Pacifica, Virginica and Kumamoto oysters.
We have successfully grown and marketed the edible seaweed called Ogo. We continue to refine this process to provide a reliable source to the local marketplace. We will expand this project with other edible seaweeds in the future.
The removal of mangrove and replanting native species at Nomilo fishpond project is underway and has been funded by the United State Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.). Mangrove is a highly invasive alien species . The overgrowth of mangrove is a problem for most all of the Hawaiian fishponds. This invasive species decreases water quality by depositing large amounts of organic material into the pond resulting in nutrient loading and anoxia, sedimentation and hyper salinization.
We are continually evaluating, innovating and upgrading our hatchery and nursery facilities. We are currently spawning Sea Cucumbers and clams. We are working on spawning sea urchins and look forward to having a coral nursery to help re-establish the health of the reef environments in Hawaii.
Sesuvium portulacastrum- Akulikuli is an edible indigenous plant. It is a coastal ground cover with succulent leaves used in salads and poke. Part of the Mangrove Removal project will be removing the introduced variety of this plant and reestablishing the native variety - akulikuli at Nomilo.
Future restoration projects include re-establishing the historic makaha (gate) system at the auwai which was damaged during the Iniki hurricane. At high tide, mature fish in the pond taste the incoming sea water and will swim into the channels. A gate at the ocean end of the channel will prevent them from escaping. Another gate at the pond side of the channel is closed shut as soon as there are enough fish to harvest. Fish are then easily harvested with a scoop net.
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