Sea cucumber in India is treated as an endangered species listed under schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
- They are marine invertebrates that live on the seafloor found generally in tropical regions.
- They’re named for their unusual oblong shape that resembles a fat cucumber.
- They are an integral part of the coral ecosystem as one of the main by-products of the sea cucumbers digestion of sand is calcium carbonate and this is essential for the survival of the coral reefs.
- They act like garbage collectors of the ocean world, and they recycle nutrients, thus playing an important role in keeping coral reefs in good condition.
- Sea cucumbers are in high demand in China and Southeast Asia.
- It is primarily smuggled from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka in fishing vessels from Ramanathapuram and Tuticorin districts.
- IUCN Red List: Brown Sea Cucumber (Endangered), Blackspotted Sea Cucumber (Least Concern), Blue Sea Cucumber (Data Deficient), etc.