Holothuroideos or Sea cucumbers are echinoderms from the class Holothuroidea. They are marine animals with a leathery skin and an elongated body containing a single, branched gonad. Sea cucumbers are found on the sea floor worldwide. The number of holothurian  species worldwide is about 1,717 with the greatest number being in the Asia Pacific region. Many of these are gathered for human consumption and some species are cultivated in aquaculture systems. The harvested product is variously referred to as trepangbêche-de-mer or balate.

This product is in great demand in the Asian market, where it is considered one of the best and most expensive delicacies. After a complex processing procedure, the resulting product is marketed to the most exclusive restaurants.



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