The Australasian sea cucumber, Australostichopus mollis, has an extensive distribution; it is found along the coast of southern Australia and throughout New Zealand's coastal waters. This species is very similar in appearance to the highly prized Japanese sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus, and as a consequence has attracted increasing interest for commercial fishing and aquaculture. The sea cucumber A. mollis currently supports a small commercial fishery in New Zealand of 10–20 t/y. A review of the research on this sea cucumber indicates that the development of aquaculture for this species has been impeded by a general lack of background biological knowledge. Future research needs to be targeted toward resolving the constraints the aquaculture industry is facing for this species, including reliable methods for broodstock conditioning, mass larval rearing, juvenile nutrition and husbandry, as well as development of effective grow-out technology and identification of suitable farming sites.
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Vol. 32 • No. 3