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Sea Cucumber

  • IASbaba
  • September 21, 2021
  • 0
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Sea Cucumber

Part of: Prelims and GS III – Conservation 

Context Recently, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has seized two tonnes of sea cucumber, a banned marine species, in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay areas in Tamil Nadu.

What is Sea Cucumber?

  • 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.
  • Significance:
    • They are crucial to maintain the balance of ocean habitats.
    • 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
  • Threats: Illegal Trading and smuggling
  • Protection:
    • IUCN Red List: Brown Sea Cucumber (Endangered), Blackspotted Sea Cucumber (Least Concern), Blue Sea Cucumber (Data Deficient), etc.
    • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.
  • Conservation Efforts: In 2020, the Lakshadweep Islands administration created the world’s first conservation area – 239 sq. km – for sea cucumbers

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