Sustainability of Cucumaria Frondosa

As global awareness grows regarding environmental practices and depletion of our natural resources, concerns for sustainability continue to increase as well. In regard to the utilisation of any marine organism for health benefits, no matter how far-reaching the effects, the issue of ecological sustainability needs to be addressed. There have been many examples in recent history of the over-fishing, over-harvesting and depletion of marine resources.

The shark fin/cartilage issue is a prime, and probably the best known, example of species exploitation and wastage. Shark stocks were grossly depleted from the Chinese demand for shark fin as a food delicacy, and then suffered additionally from the joint and anti-cancer shark cartilage market, prompting authorities to pass international regulations in order to protect the species. This is not to say that all use of natural resources should be disallowed, but more that it is important for monitoring and regulation to be put in place when necessary. The key is awareness and sustainability. In regard to sea cucumbers, there are certain species, particularly in warmer climates and from waters in various parts of the world, being threatened by over-fishing, hence the public concern for sea cucumber viability. ...

Coastside Bio Resources in Maine, USA produces a range of supplements for humans and animal health using C.frondosa as one of the main components. One of these is SeaFlex® for Dogs and Cats. Peter Collin, founder and managing director of Coastside Bio Resources collaborates with various scientists, cancer research institutes, universities and government institutes internationally, researching the medicinal and nutritional properties of C. frondosa. In addition to his research endeavours, Peter Collin is one of C. frondosa’s greatest advocates in support of governmental regulation of the small fisheries. When asked about issues of sustainability with C. frondosa, Peter said “There was a time years ago that I had thought that the resource was, indeed, going to be being over-fished. I like to think that we've now adopted what is referred to in Environmental Law as "the Precautionary Principle" which states that we need to be careful in how open the fishery is for sea cucumber now and in the future.” Peter campaigned for regulation and was almost the sole proponent of this effort in Maine. Finally, 10 years ago, the Department of Marine Resources got the legislature to pass ‘The Emerging Fisheries Act’, which required study of the stocks and set a limitation on the fishing. By limiting the number of boats, size of fishing gear, and number of days at sea, the catch has been greatly reduced and securely protected.

Prior to involvement by Coastside Bio Resources, the C. frondosa sea cucumbers were being harvested and sent to China and Japan for their use as culinary delicacies and health tonics. The components discovered by Coastside Bio Resources to offer such great health benefits were previously not being utilized. Now, these parts are being effectively used, and are the subject of several major scientific investigations for aortic aneurysms, prevention of colon cancer, prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer, skin cancer, breast cancer and increased cellular immunity. Peter Collin and Coastside Bio Resources hold more than 15 US, Australian and foreign patents covering their extensive work on sea cucumbers and health. Coastside Bio Resources also uses their own unique, patented processing and extraction method which concentrates and maximizes the “health supportive” activity without refining or compromising the nutritional integrity of the compounds. This preserves the original nutritional value of the food and contributes to the uniformity and efficacy of their products.

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