Sea cucumbers protected by CITES for the first time

Posted on August, 25 2019

In response to the CITES committee decision to accept Proposal 45 to include three species of sea cucumbers on Appendix II with a 12-month delay in implementation, WWF issued the following statement from Colman O Criodain, Policy Manager, Wildlife Practice:

“For the first time, sea cucumbers will benefit from protection under CITES. The Appendix II listing is welcome because thousands of tons of these mysterious creatures are exported annually for luxury cuisine markets in Southeast Asia, and over-harvest is causing large-scale population declines.”

“Known as the ‘cleaners of the sea,’ sea cucumbers play a vital role in maintaining ecosystem health. Regulating international trade of sea cucumbers will also benefit the ecosystems in which they live, particularly coral reefs.”

Sea cucumber (Stichopus fuscus) on the ocean floor at Punta Leona, Pacific coast of Costa Rica
© Carlos Drews / WWF