Article

Present Status and Future Prospects of Sea Cucumber Breeding and Culture in India

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Abstract

The holothurians or sea cucumbers are commercial echinoderms, which are exclusively marine in their habitat. With the increase in demand, inadequate fishery management has caused overexploitation of sea cucumber resources in Indian waters. As a conservation measure, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has listed the sea cucumber under wildlife protection Act 1972, which has caused severe impact on the fisher folks who depended on these resources. The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has developed and standardized the seed production techniques of two species of sea cucumbers Holothuria scabra and H. spinifera for the first time. Releasing of hatchery produced seed of sea cucumbers to the natural habitat is considered as one of the ways to replenish the exploited stock and has been currently practiced in many countries. Through the upgradation of the existing hatchery techniques, cost-effective mass production of holothurian juveniles can be carried out, which will in turn be helpful in evolving strategies for conservation and sustainable fishery and export of sea cucumbers from India.

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