- February 15, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Context- Demand for sea cucumbers turns India-Sri Lanka waters into trafficking hotspot.
- The sea cucumber fishery is banned in India and restricted under a licensing system in Sri Lanka, but growing demand for the animals in East Asia has turned the waters between these South Asian countries into a hotspot for the illegal trade.
- Despite their name, sea cucumbers aren’t vegetables; they’re echinoderms, from the same phylum of marine animals that includes starfish and sea urchins, and live on the sandy bottoms of oceans, where they perform the important ecological function of nutrient cycling.
- Sea cucumbers 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 crucial to maintain the balance of ocean habitats.
- 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.
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.
- IUCN Red List: Brown Sea Cucumber (Endangered), Blackspotted Sea Cucumber (Least Concern), Blue Sea Cucumber (Data Deficient), etc.
- In 2020, the Lakshadweep Islands administration created the world’s first conservation area – 239 sq. km – for sea cucumbers.