The Sea Cucumber Apostichopus japonicus

The Sea Cucumber Apostichopus japonicus

History, Biology and Aquaculture

1st Edition - January 1, 2015

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  • Editors: Hongsheng Yang, Jean-Francois Hamel, Annie Mercier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128004678
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780127999531

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While sea cucumber is one of China's and Asia’s most prized seafoods, and aquaculture programs are being developed on a huge commercial scale, Chinese expertise and knowledge in this area has not been well disseminated worldwide. The Sea Cucumber Apostichopus japonicus is the first book to bridge this gap by compiling key information related to hatchery and aquaculture techniques, nutritional and medical values, markets, and trade flow of the number one sea cucumber species. It summarizes the historical and most recent developments in the trade and aquaculture of Apostichopus japonicus, as well as important aspects of its anatomy, population dynamics, reproduction, development, physiology, and biochemistry. With sea cucumber harvest and aquaculture booming worldwide, comprehensive knowledge of China’s technological breakthroughs in this rapidly expanding field is key. The Sea Cucumber Apostichopus japonicus is essential to understanding the cultural underpinnings of the insatiable market demands for sea cucumber and what drives sea cucumber trade. It also provides biological information and aquaculture techniques that can be adapted to other species, making it a valuable resource for researchers and practitioners involved in sea cucumber harvesting, aquaculture, and conservation.

Key Features

  • Explores the historical and current importance of Apostichopus japonicus in China, Japan, and the two Koreas
  • Presents innovative production technologies in sea cucumber aquaculture
  • Provides the latest scientific methods to maximize efficiency and production
  • Includes important information on the design and operation of farms
  • Discusses hot topics, current challenges, and future opportunities in aquaculture
  • Highlights important advances in the study of sea cucumbers at the behavioral, cellular, and molecular levels


Aquaculture scientists and extension agents, environmental biologists, aquatic scientists, graduate students, government officials and policy-makers, and aquaculture practitioners

Table of Contents

    • List of Contributors
    • Preface
    • Acknowledgments
    • Chapter 1: Apostichopus japonicus in the Life of Chinese People
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 1.1. Ancient tales of sea cucumber
      • 1.2. Nutritional and medicinal value of sea cucumber
      • 1.3. Sea cucumber in Chinese diet
      • 1.4. Cultural expression
    • Chapter 2: From Fisheries Toward Aquaculture
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 2.1. The history of A. japonicus fishery
      • 2.2. Aquaculture development
      • 2.3. Perspective on the aquaculture industry of A. japonicus
    • Chapter 3: Taxonomy and Identification
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 3.1. Introduction
      • 3.2. Holothuroid taxonomy
      • 3.3. Methods of classifying holothuroids
      • 3.4. The evolution of holothuroids
      • 3.5. A. japonicus Taxonomy
    • Chapter 4: Anatomy
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 4.1. Body wall
      • 4.2. Calcareous ring
      • 4.3. Endoskeleton
      • 4.4. Nervous system
      • 4.5. Coelom and coelomocytes
      • 4.6. Digestive system
      • 4.7. Respiratory system
      • 4.8. Water vascular system
      • 4.9. Hemal system
      • 4.10. Reproductive system
    • Chapter 5: Spatial Distribution, Population Structures, Management, and Conservation
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 5.1. Spatial distribution
      • 5.2. Population structure
      • 5.3. Fisheries management and conservation
    • Chapter 6: Reproductive Biology
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 6.1. Anatomy of the reproductive system
      • 6.2. Gonad development
      • 6.3. Reproductive cycle
      • 6.4. Control of reproduction
    • Chapter 7: Broodstock Conditioning and Spawning
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 7.1. Collection and conditioning of broodstock
      • 7.2. Spawning behavior
      • 7.3. Spawning induction
      • 7.4. Artificial oocyte maturation
    • Chapter 8: Development, Settlement, and Post-settlement Growth
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 8.1. Embryonic and larval development
      • 8.2. Effects of temperature on larval development and biological zero
      • 8.3. Effects of salinity variations on growth, development, and vitality of embryos and larvae
      • 8.4. Effect of suspended sediment on larval survival and settlement
      • 8.5. Substrate selection
      • 8.6. Behavioral characteristics during settlement and shift in function of locomotory and feeding organs
      • 8.7. Interindividual variation in growth
    • Chapter 9: Environmental Drivers of Behavior
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 9.1. Daily activity patterns
      • 9.2. Monthly and seasonal activities
    • Chapter 10: Feeding, digestion, nutritional physiology, and bioenergetics
      • Summary
      • 10.1. Feeding habits and food sources
      • 10.2. Digestive enzymology
      • 10.3. Nutritional physiology
      • 10.4. Energy budget
      • 10.5. Conclusion
    • Chapter 11: Aestivation and regeneration
      • Summary
      • 11.1. Aestivation
      • 11.2. Regeneration
    • Chapter 12: Albinism
      • Summary
      • 12.1. Research on albinism
      • 12.2. Biochemical and genetic pathways underlying albinism
      • 12.3. Differences in nutrient and melanin contents between albino and normal A. japonicus
      • 12.4. Differences in histological and ultrastructural characteristics between albino and normal A. japonicus
      • 12.5. Differences in MITF gene expressions in albino and normal A. japonicus
      • 12.6. Differences in astacin gene expressions in albino and normal A. japonicus
    • Chapter 13: Tissue biochemistry
      • Summary
      • 13.1. Proximate composition
      • 13.2. Amino acids
      • 13.3. Fatty acids
      • 13.4. Vitamins
      • 13.5. Minerals
    • Chapter 14: Larval, juvenile, and adult predators
      • Summary
      • 14.1. Predators of Apostichopus japonicus at different life stages
      • 14.2. Control of predators in rearing systems
      • 14.3. Conclusion
    • Chapter 15: Immunology and diseases
      • Summary
      • 15.1. The immune system of sea cucumbers
      • 15.2. Symptoms and treatments of diseases
    • Chapter 16: Aquaculture, stock enhancement, and restocking
      • Summary
      • 16.1. Introduction
      • 16.2. Industrial culture
      • 16.3. Pond (cofferdam) culture
      • 16.4. Suspended culture
      • 16.5. Sea ranching
      • 16.6. Restocking and stock enhancement
      • 16.7. Conclusion
    • Chapter 17: Apostichopus japonicus: A key species in integrated polyculture systems
      • Summary
      • 17.1. Introduction
      • 17.2. Types of sea cucumber IMTA in eastern Asia
      • 17.3. Bioremediation capability of A. japonicus when combined with bivalve and/or macroalgae
      • 17.4. Conclusion and future prospects
    • Chapter 18: Habitat Enhancement and Rehabilitation
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 18.1. Introduction
      • 18.2. Habitat enhancement
      • 18.3. Habitat rehabilitation
      • 18.4. Conclusion
    • Chapter 19: Nutritional and Medicinal Value
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 19.1. Active ingredients of sea cucumber
      • 19.2. Pharmaceutical properties of sea cucumber
      • 19.3. Conclusion
    • Chapter 20: Processing and Cuisine
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 20.1. Introduction
      • 20.2. History of sea cucumbers as edible food
      • 20.3. Modern processing methods
      • 20.4. Cooking sea cucumbers
    • Chapter 21: Apostichopus japonicus in the Worldwide Production and Trade of Sea Cucumbers
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 21.1. Introduction
      • 21.2. Sea cucumber fishery resources
      • 21.3. Market trade
      • 21.4. Sea cucumber markets in China
    • Chapter 22: Apostichopus japonicus: Fisheries, Trade, and Foodways in Japan
      • Summary
      • Keywords
      • 22.1. Introduction
      • 22.2. History of Japanese sea cucumber fisheries and foodways
      • 22.3. Export of Japanese dried sea cucumber (iriko) to China between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries
      • 22.4. Sea cucumber fisheries in contemporary Japan
      • 22.5. Japanese A. japonicus in Hong Kong and Chinese markets
      • 22.6. Problems and prospects in sustainable A. japonicus production in Japan
    • Chapter 23: Apostichopus japonicus: “Dolgi haesam” in the Republic of Korea (South Korea)
      • Summary
      • 23.1. Tradition
      • 23.2. Population distribution, production, and management
      • 23.3. Consumption and cooking recipes
      • 23.4. Imports and exports
      • 23.5. Recent development of sea cucumber farming and some prospects
    • Chapter 24: Apostichopus japonicus: In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
      • Summary
      • 24.1. Introduction
      • 24.2. Fishery
      • 24.3. Aquaculture
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 478
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2015
  • Published: January 1, 2015
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128004678
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780127999531

About the Editors

Hongsheng Yang

Hongsheng Yang has long been engaged in research on the biology and ecology of sea cucumber, ecological immunology, facilities and techniques for culture and stock enhancement of sea cucumber and artificial reef evaluation and resource restoration techniques. He participated in drafting many national strategy planning documents including the "Eleventh Five-Year plan", "Twelfth Five-Year Plan", “Marine agriculture” special plan of the Ministry of Science and Technology and "Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological resources”, the National Ocean and Technology Development Strategy, Program for Marine Development by Reliance on Science and Technology and several other regional development strategy plans of Shandong Province and Qingdao City. He has published over 100 papers, authorized more than 20 patents and presided over formulating a national industry standard.

Affiliations and Expertise

Deputy Director, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, P.R. China

Jean-Francois Hamel

Jean-François Hamel is a research scientist and co-founder of the Society for the Exploration and Valuing of the Environment, based in Canada. He conducts fundamental studies on the diversity of life-history strategies in boreal and tropical marine invertebrates world-wide, with a focus on echinoderms and cnidarians, and an interest in their management and conservation. He specializes in the interplay between environmental factors and the ecology of early life stages. As of 2022, he had co-edited 4 academic books, and co-authored 12 refereed book chapters, over 130 peer-reviewed articles and several technical reports, totalling more than 200 scientific publications. As an echinoderm specialist with over 35 years of experience, Jean-François Hamel has worked around the world (e.g. Brazil, Belize, China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Panama, Solomon Islands), often with his partner Annie Mercier, in collaboration with international organizations (FAO, IUCN, CITES) and foreign institutions. He regularly travels as a scientific consultant to deliver presentations and help with the development of sea cucumber nurseries, grow-out facilities and sea ranching initiatives. He is also building partnerships with Northern communities of Canada around the sustainable exploitation of benthic resources. Aside from being passionate scientists and fierce advocates of marine resources conservation, Jean-François Hamel and Annie Mercier have authored numerous popular articles on wildlife, diving, aquarium hobby, travel destinations and environmental issues in magazines around the world. They also write coffee table books and are periodically involved in the production of film documentaries

Affiliations and Expertise

Researcher/Consultant, Society for the Exploration and Valuing of the Environment (SEVE), Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Annie Mercier

Annie Mercier is a Professor at the Department of Ocean Sciences of Memorial University (Canada) where she pursues wide-ranging research interests around marine benthic communities and their response to exogenous factors and environmental stressors. She and her team study life-history strategies and species interactions at various scales in a broad variety of taxa (with a focus on echinoderms, molluscs, and cnidarians) from coastal, polar and deep-sea environments. Her areas of expertise also include the management and conservation of ecologically and commercially important marine species. As of 2022, Annie Mercier had co-edited 4 academic books, and co-authored more than 200 scientific publications, including 12 refereed chapters, over 130 peer-reviewed articles and several technical reports. She also holds editorial positions inside two scientific journals and co-chairs the IUCN Species Survival Commission Specialist Group on Sea Cucumbers. Prior to her faculty position at Memorial University, Annie Mercier conducted research in the Indo-Pacific islands together with her partner Jean-François Hamel. Their research on the fundamental biology and reproductive habits of key commercial sea cucumbers, in partnership with international organizations (FAO, IUCN, CITES) and foreign institutions, facilitated the development of numerous fisheries and aquaculture programs. The pair also published popular books and articles on wildlife, diving, and environmental issues, and assisted with the production of museum exhibitions and film documentaries. To this day, they continue to work, publish and deliver conferences on the ecology and management of marine resources in Canada and abroad.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Department of Ocean Sciences of Memorial University, Canada

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