Maldives gov't bans export of endangered sea cucumbers

The Maldivian government is set to ban the export of two endangered species of sea cucumbers.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Fisheries Minister Ahmed Shiyam announced that the export ban targets two sea cucumber species on the verge of extinction. The decision follows their addition to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to which the Maldives is a party. The export ban will take effect on June 1.

Earlier, the government of former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took a similar measure, which banned the export of White Teatfish and Black Teatfish. However, opportunity was later granted to export the two species under a special permit.

While the Maldives hosts a wide variety of sea cucumbers, only about 15 species are used commercially.