Sea Cucumbers: In a swift operation, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) team at Mandapam, Tamil Nadu seized two tonnes of sea cucumber worth Rs 8 crores after following a suspected boat.
- Working on a tip-off about illegal transhipment of sea cucumber, the ICG team swung into action and tracked the suspect boat involved in likely smuggling.
- Sea Cucumbers is a banned marine species.
- They are in high demand in China and Southeast Asia.
- In India it is treated as an endangered species listed under schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
- It is primarily smuggled from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka in fishing vessels from Ramanathapuram and Tuticorin districts.
About Sea Cucumbers:
- Sea cucumbers are echinoderms from the class Holothuroidea.
- They are marine animals with a leathery skin and an elongated body containing a single, branched gonad.
- Sea cucumbers are found on the sea floor worldwide.
- There are around 1,717 holothurian species worldwide, with the Asia Pacific area having the most.
- Many are harvested for human consumption, while some are raised in aquaculture systems.