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What is a Sea Cucumber? Here’s All You Need to Know

What is Sea Cucumber

There are 228,450 known species in the ocean and over 2 million species that total remains a mystery. In the list of known species, Sea Cucumber is one very familiar one. Let’s learn in deep – What is a Sea Cucumber exactly? Sea Cucumbers are echinoderms of the taxonomic class Holothuroidea and can be found on the ocean floor, partially buried in the sand, all over the world.

Holothuroidea belongs to the class Echinodermata phylum, which also includes many other well-known marine invertebrates, such as sea urchins, sea stars, and sand dollars. Holothurian species number around 1,717 worldwide, and sea cucumber have around 1250 species, with the largest number in the Asia Pacific region. Many of these are collected for human consumption and some species are cultivated in aquaculture systems.

Although we can eat these chubby sea creatures, don’t expect a fresh bite as they are not related to the fruit-bearing their namesake.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, sea cucumbers range in size from about 1.9 cm to over 1.8 m (6 ft) long and live in the oceans worldwide, from near shallow waters to the deepest trenches in the ocean.

What is a Sea Cucumber – Physical Appearance

Sea cucumbers have leathery skin and an elongated body containing a single, branched gonad. Sea cucumbers are named for their unusual oblong shape that resembles a plump cucumber. 

They exhibit radial symmetry like all other echinoderms, but they do not have five arms arranged in a circle like them; instead, sea cucumbers have five rows of short legs that run lengthwise down their bodies from mouth to anus. Their tube-shaped feet mainly serve to anchor limbless organisms to the ocean floor.

What Do Sea Cucumbers Eat?

Sea cucumbers are like earthworms of the ocean, they can eat anything from tiny pieces of algae and marine creatures and even sand. These creatures slowly move around, they use the additional 20 to 30 small tube feet that exist around their mouths to shovel everything in. 

The sand these creatures eat passes directly through their system and exit the other end as sandy poop logs. Along with sand, they also emit byproducts that help marine ecosystems, especially coral reefs.

Sustainable Harvesting

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) classifies some species of sea cucumber such as the brown sea cucumber, Isostichopus fuscus, as vulnerable or endangered. 

But other species are not considered to have much to worry about. However, this result may also be because there is not enough data that helps us to accurately guesses the population of the species.

According to a 2010 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, sea cucumbers are heavily harvested, with the exception of a few populations in temperate waters in the Northern Hemisphere. Most of the sea creatures harvested are exported to Asian markets, where sea cucumbers are used in some of the delicacy food items.

The FAO has published various guidelines for the sustainable collection of sea cucumbers globally. While many countries’ laws are based on these guidelines others do not have the resources to enforce the rules.

People Eat a Lot of Sea Cucumbers

There are many ways in which sea cucumbers are consumed globally. Especially in Asian countries, sea cucumbers are dried and used in soups and other dishes and are considered savory dishes.

Sea cucumber is also part of traditional Chinese medicine used to treat fatigue, impotence, frequent urination, constipation, and joint pain. These sea creatures are also harvested because they are a rich source of chondroitin sulphate, which is commonly used for arthritis.

Sea Cucumbers are wonderful creatures with lots of benefits to humans and our planet. As they ate essential part of many dishes and medicine world found ways to harvest Sea Cucumbers in better and less harmful ways. And if you want the best quality of Sea Cucumber then Premium Sea Cucumber will be a wise step.  

Premium Sea Cucumber is one of the suppliers of the finest Sea Cucumber with natural processing that helps to maintain the best quality for the customers. So, contact Premium Sea Cucumber now for the best quality and reasonable pricing.

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