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Status, Prospects and Market Potentials of the Sea Cucumber Fisheries with Special Reference on Their Proper Utilization and Trade
Annual Research & Review in Biology,
Sea cucumbers belonging to the phylum Echinodermata are important marine invertebrates, generally occur in the sandy substrates and rocky shores near the bottom of sea. This review work has been attempted to make an interlink between biological and socio-economical perspectives of sea cucumber because of the high demand in the present world. The outer body part of sea cucumber (bêche-de-mer) has been recognized for producing secondary metabolites including vitamins and triterpenoid glycoside saponins that have profound ecological and bio-medicinal significance. Sea cucumbers are also used to remove arthritis pain, exert wound healing, and nowadays, are utilized in human health therapeutics and Asian folk medicine. Due to higher pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical and nutraceutical values, sea cucumber has become one of the most essential products, and fetched higher market prices and therefore, provide a significant earning source and employment opportunity to the coastal communities in many countries. The sea cucumber and its product have been considered to be the excellent bioresource in the invertebrate fishery, whose harvestings, transporting, handlings, processing and maintenance are easy, convenient and cost-effective. Historically, bêche-de-mer were harvested from the multi-species capture fishery and stored for long times for selling to the businessmen and traders directly on the site. As like other lucrative and expensive food items viz., fish-maws, shark-fins and abalones, sea cucumbers are taken into the account as the high-valued products in the world seafood markets. Nevertheless, bêche-de-mer product supply in the South-East Asian countries has been decreasing day by day because of unstrained harvesting and overexploitation. On the other hand, the marketing structure in these countries is typically ineffective and the trading networks are multifaceted. Due to the lack of proper information, fishermen are not usually getting proper values and actual prices from the sea cucumber products, whereas other distributors and value-chain members have made complex systems, which have led to high cost of the products. The sea cucumber products will still have higher possibility of trading throughout the world markets, that might eventually contribute to the global economy in a very worthwhile, significant and sustainable manner.
- Sea cucumbers
How to Cite
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