More than an ordinary sea cucumber: the Koh Yao Sea Cucumber

The Department of Intellectual Property announced on March 4, 2024, that “Koh Yao Sea Cucumber” has been registered as the fourth geographical indication (GI) product of Phang Nga Province. This recognition was granted due to the product’s unique characteristics and its wide range of potential applications, including both food consumption and use in the production of medicines and food supplements.

Koh Yao Sea Cucumber has distinctive characteristics that significantly differ from ordinary sea cucumbers. Sea cucumbers that generally live in the sea are often stressed, which affects their physical growth. In contrast, Koh Yao sea cucumbers are raised in mud and sand ponds with channels that allow seawater to flow in and out. The breeding area is limited to Koh Yao District, in Phang Nga Province, which has a rich biodiversity and is suitable for the habitation and breeding of aquatic animals. Koh Yao sea cucumbers are raised together with other marine species, which contributes to making them larger, firmer, and thicker than sea cucumbers raised elsewhere. Sea cucumbers indeed feed on the sediment in the pond and the waste from other organisms, and they tend to live at the bottom of the pond and do not move much. These differences make Koh Yao sea cucumbers a sought-after product in many countries.

They now join the respectable list of GI registered for fresh fish, mollusks, and crustaceans in Thailand, which also includes the Suratthani oyster, Pla Rad (giant gourami) from Lumnam Sakae Krang Uthai Thani, Pla Chon (snake-head fish) from Mae La, the Songkhla Lake seabass, the Surat Thani stinging catfish, the Mae Klong mackerel and the Bang Phae giant freshwater prawn.


Written by: Chanapa (Bam) Thussanasumrit

Reviewers: Adele Marchal

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