Sea Cucumbers or Holothurians are widely distributed in marine environments. They can be
easily seen lying in on a sea-bed, among corals or rocks. They range in colour from Black
through Reddish Brown to Dark Green and anywhere between 2 cm to 2 m in length. They move by
means of many small “feet” or testacles.
There are over 1000 over species of Sea Cucumbers; however only about 20-25 are commercially exploited & marketeable, viz. Actinopyga, Bohadschia, Holothuria & Microthele, Isostichopus, Parastichopus, Stichopus, Thelonata, etc..
Sea Cucumbers may be eaten raw, boiled or pickled; however the greater use is in the dried state. Preparing the dried product from freshly harvested sea cucumber is a laborious process, usually involving six stages: boiling, slitting the side, second boiling, gutting, smoke-drying and sun drying. In addition to these, several variations on this procedure may be adopted, depending on the local practice, specie, size and waters from which they are harvested. The right dried quality & shape need to be achieved inorder to give the best yield possible and long product life.