Use of antibiotics a concern in sea cucumber farming | Tidechange
July 11, 2012
Posted by on
Use of antibiotics a concern in sea cucumber farming | Tidechange.
Use of antibiotics a concern in sea cucumber farming
The possibility of the further expansion of aquaculture in Baynes Sound with the inclusion of Sea Cucumber ranching has made me realize that this treasure of ours needs protection from further development by being designated as a Recreational Refuge. I would specifically like to see it protected from the potential use of antibiotics which are commonly used in aquaculture. The abstract of an article entitled “ Probiotics and sea cucumber farming”, published in SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin #24 – July 2006 noted that, because “…sea cucumber farming is a relatively new industry, the emergence of disease outbreaks is not well understood. To prevent aquaculture-related diseases, antibiotics are generally used in large quantities although their unlimited application results in the appearance of new virulent pathogens. With the development of sea cucumber farming, new diseases are expected to appear in the future.”
Most antibiotics are made to be water soluble for easy absorption and many of these are relatively resistant to degradation.
Antibiotic treatment in aquaculture is achieved through the use of medicated baths and medicated food. In both cases, my concern is that antibiotics will unavoidably pass into the environment and remain there for extended periods of time.
Last week, I talked with the Shellfish Aquaculture section of DFO, and was told that they were unaware of any monitoring for antibiotics in Comox Bay.
Evidence from a 2012 study by the Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, suggests that antibiotic-resistant organisms in the marine environment will, in turn, pass their antibiotic resistant genes to other bacteria, including strains that infect marine animals and humans.
The risk of spreading diseases and parasites to wild natural sea cucumber stocks through the introduction of hatchery sea cucumbers is another issue.
In conclusion, I feel that protection of Baynes Sound as a Recreational Reserve for the enjoyment of all is the direction we should be going.
– M. Graves