Indian Ocean Trepang
Indian Ocean Trepang (IOT) is an innovative sea cucumber farming operation in Madagascar. Next to its own farming sites, it has a substantial program for local smallholders to function as outgrowers, in collaboration with local NGOs.
Sea cucumbers have been consumed as a delicacy, since as early as the 8th century.
Today, sea cucumber vitality is critical in the Indo-Pacific region, where local fishermen harvest them to meet rising global demand. But, due to the long-standing exploitation of 70+ sea cucumber species, tropical regions are seeing alarming extinctions of their respective local sea cucumber species.
Indian Ocean Trepang grows, processes and sells sea cucumbers to consumers worldwide, using a unique, low-tech, environmentally-sound model that gives low-income fishermen access to a growing and lucrative global market. They also partner with local fishing villages, to return sea cucumber farming back to its natural spot, in the sea, and away from expensive facilities.
Scaling Indian Ocean Trepang’s sustainable production method across the Indian Ocean Region creates a steady and significant source of income for local communities, reduce pressure on wild fisheries, reinstate equilibrium across the lagoon eco-system and replenish natural stocks of endangered, depleted sea cucumber species.