We have gotten the impression that people think we are a bit crazy for trying to sell dried sponges. They may not be for everyone but ORA is always looking for ways to support aquaculture both domestically and abroad. Just so people don’t think we are entering the curio trade, allow us provide you with a little bit of insight as to why we are offering this new product:
These sponges are cultured by several communities of Micronesian farmers. These are the very same farmers who culture some of the soft and stony corals sold by ORA. It takes an average of 2 to 2.5 years for a sponge to reach market size but they do not require intensive supervision. This allows the farmer to participate in other traditional and income generating activities. The farm sites producing these sponges have been established long enough to produce second generation cuttings, making them truly aquacultured products. The co-op selling these sponges has certified them as both a sustainable and fair trade product.
Check out the photos below to see the underwater sponge farms.