Sea Cucumber

  • Nearly 105 kilograms of sea cucumber was seized by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) near Attangarai in Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu recently.

About Sea Cucumber:

  • These are part of a larger animal group called echinoderms and are invertebrates that live on the seafloor (benthic).
  • Their body shape is similar to a cucumber, but they have small tentacle-like tube feet that are used for locomotion and feeding.
  • There are about 1,250 species of sea cucumber, all of which belong to the taxonomic class Holothuroidea.
  • They are found in all marine environments throughout the world, from shallow to deep-sea environments.
  • They excrete inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus, enhancing the productivity of benthic biota.
  • Sea cucumbers exhibit sexual and asexual reproduction.
  • Unlike most terrestrial animals, sea cucumber eggs undergo external fertilization—females release eggs into the water that are fertilized when they come into contact with sperm that males have released.
  • Protection status
    • Wildlife Protection Act of 1972: Schedule I
    • CITES: Appendix II
  • In 2020, the Lakshadweep administration created the world’s first conservation area for sea cucumbers.
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