Recently, nearly 105 kilograms of sea cucumber was seized by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) near Attangarai in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu.
About Sea Cucumber:
- These are 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.
- They are found in all marine environments throughout the world, from shallow to deep-sea environments. Sea cucumbers are benthic, meaning they live on the ocean floor.
- 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.
- Conservation status
- Wildlife Protection Act of 1972: Schedule I
- CITES: Appendix II
Q1) What are Echinoderms?
Echinoderms are a phylum of marine animals that includes sea stars, sea urchins, sand dollars, sea cucumbers, and brittle stars. They are found in oceans all over the world, from the shallowest tidal pools to the deepest parts of the ocean.