Threatened species of Sea cucumbers
Endangered species of holothurioidea
Holothurians under threat of extinction
Many species of sea cucumbers are under threat because of their demand as an Asian dish called trepang (or bêche-de-mer). They are mostly harvested in Pacific waters, often illegally, in small artisanal fisheries. The processed product generally passes from the producer country to the main world markets, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan before being imported to the consumer countries. It is a multi-million dollar market. From different indices, overexploitation is becoming more and more noticeable worldwide as the demand for trepang increases, even though many Pacific countries have placed a ban on export. The ecology of holothurian species is poorly understood and the necessary information for sustainable management of the fisheries is currently lacking. There is concern that areas massively harvested do not repopulate.