The sea cucumber is really an echinoderm. It forms an important part of the Asian diet, where it is eaten in soups, stews and stir-fries. There is a roaring export trade between Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, and China and the rest of Asia.
A new report, Sea Cucumbers: a global review of fisheries and trade, says that management plans for fisheries are not common, so the demand can cause over-fishing.
It says management plans specific to local circumstances are required, including catch quotas and minimum size limits, closures during breeding seasons, and better monitoring of the status of stocks.