Bright // The trouble with sea cucumbers


For many in the western world, they’re a summer oddity — strange blobs we sometimes see bobbing about on the seafloor beneath us during a day at the beach.

But across Asia, sea cucumbers have long been a staple in peoples’ diets, mainly in soups, stews and stir-fries, and demand for this homely undersea animal — cucumber is a misnomer, they’re really echinoderms — is high.

That’s why countries like Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines export large quantities of them to China and other Asian markets each year.

And that’s also why sea cucumber populations across the globe, from Asia to the Galapagos, are increasingly in trouble.

Read more: Bright // The trouble with sea cucumbers