Sea Cucumbers Could Save the Coral Reefs, If They Aren’t All Eaten First

by 4Ocean Team March 21, 2018

Sea Cucumbers Could Save the Coral Reefs, If They Aren’t All Eaten First

Sea cucumbers play a critical role in keeping coral reefs and other tropical ocean ecosystems healthy but did you know that they’re also edible? The Chinese do.

A study released on February 19, 2018 shows that sea cucumbers are in high demand in China, causing havoc as these creatures could be a viable source in aiding as a buffer to dying corals against ocean acidification.

The sea creatures are cooked and dried into bêche-de-mer, French for “sea worm”, and shipped to Hong Kong where they are then distributed across the mainland of China.

Bêche-de-mer is being sold for hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of dollars per pound. Because of their high price tag, many distributers and sellers are not so quick to take them off of their shelves, resulting in more and more sea cucumbers finding themselves victim to this trade.

 

Over 70 species of sea cucumbers are being fished out of the seas to meet demands, with 16 species already on the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2013.

The ease of fishing for sea cucumbers leaves little to no way of restricting fisherman opportunists, even if fisherman were to agree to a management plan to conserve the sea creature. The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has the authority to regulate international trade in wild life but has declined to vote in trade restrictions for sea cucumbers.

Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and top lobbyist Severin Beliveau have worked together and have gotten bill H.R. 2504 passed in the House “to ensure fair treatment licensing requirements for the export of certain echinoderms,” and Beliveau, working on behalf of a small group of Maine seafood dealers, has set the goal to get sea cucumbers, as well as sea urchins, excluded from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services inspections of Wildlife imports and exports.

To read more on the matter, click HERE

4Ocean has dedicated itself to conserving the ocean and beaches with year round beach cleanups and dives as well as a fleet of boats on the ocean seven days a week pulling trash. Every month this year, we have partnered with a different organization to support a different cause. This March, we have partnered with the Coral Restoration Foundation

Help conserve the coral reefs while also removing a pound of trash from the ocean! Click HERE to get your Limited Edition Coral Reef 4Ocean Bracelet!



4Ocean Team
4Ocean Team

Author

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.





Also in Blog

22 Facts You Might Not Know About Earth
22 Facts You Might Not Know About Earth

by 4Ocean Team April 22, 2018

You may know that April 22nd is Earth Day, but how much do you actually know about our planet? Here we share 22 facts about Planet Earth and why we need to keep it clean!

Continue Reading →

Inside Look - An Interview with Earth Day Network
Inside Look - An Interview with Earth Day Network

by 4Ocean Team April 16, 2018 5 Comments

Learn more about our partner for April, the Earth Day Network, from their Director of Marketing and Development, Kathryn Stoddard.

Continue Reading →

The Canopy Project
The Canopy Project

by 4Ocean Team April 13, 2018

For the month of April not only are we continuing to remove trash from the ocean and coastlines, we are also helping to fund the planting of trees through Earth Day Network's: The Canopy Project. Learn more in this blog about their project!

Continue Reading →