Despite being little known, California's commercial fishery for the sea cucumber was established in 1978.
- Marine invertebrate in class Holothuroidea, related to other echinoderms such as sea urchins and sea stars 
- Skeleton reduced to ossicles in the body wall 
- Difficult to measure as it contracts, but a maximum length of 60 cm (2 feet) [2, 3]
- Longest sea cucumber on the West Coast when relaxed 
- Expels internal organs to when threatened by predators 
- Distributed from Baja California, Mexico to Alaska 
- Broadcast spawners, thought to coincide with phytoplankton blooms 
- Reproductively mature between 4 to 8 years old 
- Estimated to live up to 12 years 
- Found from low intertidal to depths of 75 meters (249 feet) 
- Preference for hard substrates, like rocks and shells, as well as calm water [1,2]
- Predators include sea stars, various fish, sea otters, and crabs 
- Deposit feeder that collects organic matter and microorganisms 
- Population declined in 1980s, due to lack of regulation, but restrictions allowed for recovery [1,5]
- Year Round 
- Fisheries managed by each state, including Department of Fish and Wildlife in California 
- Permits limited, require a minimum of landing 50 pounds in the previous year 
- Maximum diving permits: 144; Maximum trawl permits: 36 
- Trawling only allowed in Southern California 
- Diving in Northern California and Southern California 
- Diving is more common than trawling, and usually occurs in conjunction with other dive fisheries, such as the sea urchin 
Status of the fishery
- Very little is known about the population size, but is thought to be stable [1,2]
- High natural mortality and slow growth could make them susceptible to overfishing 
- Unknown if current fishing rate is sustainable 
- Listed as least concern by IUCN due to its abundance across its entire range 
Potential ecosystem impacts
- Use of non-selective gear, like trawls, can damage habitat and result in bycatch 
- Mediated in California by restricting trawling in sensitive habitats 
- Channel Islands and Santa Barbara Islands have found a declining sea cucumber population in fished areas 
- Can be eaten whole, or just the skin or gonads 
Description of meat
- Little to no taste 
- Texture is gelatinous 
- Often boiled, dried, and salted before being exported, as well as frozen or pickled 
- Sold fresh in California 
- Needs to be infused with broth or extracts to have flavor 
- Mainly used in Chinese soups or stews 
- Rich in Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc 
- Anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertension, antioxidant 
- Low levels of fat (0.3-1.9%), but high levels of protein (40.7-63.3%) 
- Nutrition Facts are not specifically for the California Sea Cucumber 
- No known toxins 
- Year round 
 Mercier, A., Hamel, J., Toral-Granda, T., Alvarado, J., Paola Ortiz, E., Benavides, M. 2013. Parastichopus californicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013. Web. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/180436/0. Accessed: 2 May 2017.
 Bennet-Rogers, L., Ono, D. 2006. Sea Cucumbers. Pages 1-10. Status of the Fisheries Report.
 California Fisheries Fund. 2008. California Fisheries Atlas- Sea Cucumber. Web. http://www.californiafisheriesfund.org/reso_atlas_cuke.html. Accessed: 2 May 2017.
 National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. California Sea Cucumber, Parastichopis californicus. Web. https://www.afsc.noaa.gov/kodiak/photo/miscuke.htm. Accessed: 2 May 2017.
 Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. California Sea Cucumber. Web. http://www.pdza.org/california-sea-cucumber. Accessed 2 May 2017.
 Bruckner, A. 2005. The recent status of sea cucumber fisheries in the continental United States of America. Web.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238745544_The_recent_status_of_.... Accessed: 2 May 2017.
 Braised Sea Cucumbers with Chinese Vegetables. Web. http://www.food.com/recipe/braised-sea-cucumbers-with-chinese-vegetables.... Accessed: 27 May 2017.
 Bordbar, S., Anwar, F., Saari, N. 2011. High-Value Components and Bioactives from Sea Cucumbers for Functional Foods- A Review. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210605/. Accessed: 27 May 2017.
 Sea Cucumber,Web. Nutritionvalue.org. Accessed: 21 September 2017.