Community Classroom

Let’s Explore the Seafloor: Sea Cucumbers

An orange sea cucumber in one of Deep Bay's touch tanks
Author: Olivia Alexander

Have you ever seen a sea cucumber before?

Sea cucumbers can be found all across the world in many different environments. From the intertidal zone, where they are above water for short periods of time, all the way to deep ocean trenches. Sea cucumbers are built to withstand the challenges of the seafloor.

They move by contracting and releasing the muscles that run along their bodies, and stick to objects with their many rows of tube feet. What interesting critters!

Although sea cucumbers are not a vegetable and you can’t grow them in your garden, they are a delicacy in many countries around the world. Here in British Columbia, sea cucumbers are harvested from the wild by divers. They are hand-picked, dried, and either sold locally or sent abroad. They are a very important species for our seafood industry and you can check out the Pacific Sea Cucumber Harvesters Association’s website for more information on how sea cucumbers are harvested sustainably right off our pristine coast!

Check out the video from our Facebook Live session on sea cucumbers.  You can join VIU's Deep Bay Marine Field Station's Touch Tank Tuesday live every week and ask questions for real-time answers by going to Deep Bay's Facebook page.


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