Sea Cucumber

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Recently, officials from the Indian Coast Guard and the customs department arrested four men who were allegedly in possession of sea cucumber and raw turmeric.

About Sea Cucumber

  • This species is a part of a larger animal group called echinoderms and are invertebrates that live on the seafloor.
  • 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.
  • Habitat:
    • They are found in all marine environments throughout the world, from shallow to deep-sea environments.
    • These are benthic, meaning they live on the ocean floor.
  • They excrete inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus, enhancing the productivity of benthic biota.
  • Reproduction:
    • They 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.
  • Conservation status
    • CITES: Appendix II 
    • Wildlife Protection Act of 1972: Schedule I

Q1) What are Echinoderms?

These are a diverse group of marine animals belonging to the phylum Echinodermata. They are characterized by several unique features, including a radial symmetry, a spiny or prickly skin, and a water vascular system. Echinoderms are exclusively found in marine environments and are known for their remarkable regenerative abilities.

Source: 330 kg sea cucumber and 594 kg raw turmeric seized in Gulf of Mannar; 8 SL nationals among 12 held