These natural broodstock sea sponges are farmed sustainably using organic methods. Cuttings from wild sponges were cultivated and are now grown on lines submerged in the lagoon of Pohnpei, a remote Pacific Island. These take over one year to grow and the farmers tend their crops from canoes, using only a mask and snorkel.
MERIP, a non-profit organisation, offers training in self-sustainability projects to the indigenous people of Pohnpei, many who still live a primarily subsistence lifestyle. Pohnpei is the only place in the world where sponges are commercially farmed. Initial stocks were limited due to the time required to cultivate these sponges, but larger crops and ongoing orders will provide the people of Pohnpei with sustainable income and employment.