Sea cucumbers overfished
Sea cucumber stocks are subject to intense fishing pressure worldwide, and stocks of most high-value sea cucumber species are depleted, according to a Food and Agriculture Organization report released on Wednesday.
Effective management plans for sea cucumber fisheries worldwide are uncommon, making it difficult to prevent overfishing, says the report.
"The fast pace of development of sea cucumber fisheries to supply growing international demand is placing most fisheries and many sea cucumber species at risk," says the report.
Asia Pacific is the world's top sea cucumber producing region, yielding 20,000 to 40,000 metric tons per year. Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean and Newfoundland are also production hotspots.
Sea cucumbers are widely popular in China and other Asian markets, where they're used in soups, stews and stir-fries.