Sea Cucumber Company Receives Innovation Award Skip to content

Sea Cucumber Company Receives Innovation Award

Aurora Seafood catches and processes sea cucumbers in the seas surrounding Iceland. The company received the Svifalda (Gliding wave) award for being a progressive and innovative business at The Seafood Conference Iceland this past weekend, Vísir reports. The annual conference was held in Harpa music and conference hall between November 15 and 16.

“We are the only European nation that catches sea cucumbers in some magnitude, the catch is probably going to reach six thousand tons this year. That’s a whole bunch,” said Davíð Freyr Jónsson, Aurora Seafood’s manager.

“We founded fishery and started to meddle in this business for real in 2016, but the first experimental fishing was done in 2003. We were laying low for a long time, but now the operation has begun to plant roots. We applied for funding from the European Union which we received last year, around ISK 200 million [$1.62 million, €1.42 million]. The funding went towards developing fishing gear and develop this machine for which we received the award,” Davíð stated.

Davíð says he is a landlubber who has converted to the seafaring lifestyle. “I’m raised in Fljótsdalshérað district but I have a captain’s certificate for all ships up to twelve metres long.” Such small boats aren’t a great fit for sea cucumber fishing, so a larger ship by the name of Klettur ÍS was purchased. The main fishing grounds for sea cucumbers in Icelandic waters is to the east and west of the country.

Sea cucumbers are considered a delicacy in parts of Asia, especially China. It’s considered a status food, eaten on special occasions and to honour guests. Rich in nutrients, sea cucumbers bear the name haishen, which can be translated as ‘ginseng of the sea’. Although sea cucumbers are mainly eaten in Asia, Icelanders also consume them, but often in another form. “Many Icelander use sea cucumber products themselves, maybe without knowing, in tablets to combat joint pain,” said Davíð.

The sea cucumbers are not processed by Aurora Seafood themselves as the processing is outsourced to a man in Stokkseyri. The fishing is performed by special traps which are dragged across the ocean floor. “We, of course, try to ensure that they cause as little a disturbance as possible,” Davíð stated. “It was an honour to receive the award. It’s confirmation that what we’re doing is interesting to others,” Davíð stated.

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