Due to illegal fishing activities, the number of sea cucumbers in the waters of Mexico have been decreasing. In 2009, up to 20 tons of sea cucumbers were available. By 2013, the number dropped to 1,900 tons.
Fisherman in Mexico ca earn over $700 a day from harvesting sea cucumbers. The marine animals are then sent to China, where it is considered a delicacy. A pound of sea cucumber can be sold for $300.
Source: Karla Zabludovsky, “Quest for Illegal Gain at the Sea Bottom Divides Fishing Communities,” New York Times, March 19, 2013.