- Global wild capture of sea cucumbers (different species combined in live weight) in the latest FAO estimation in 2019 was about 59,000 tonnes (FAO 2021).
- Japanese Spiky Sea Cucumber is the most valuable of all sea cucumber species and the most commercially important sea cucumber from Japan., It is targeted by commercial fishermen.
- Japanese Spiky Sea Cucumber (especially the red variant) can be found on rocky reef areas where it seeks refuge.
- The species aggregates and commonly occurs in depths to 20–40 m, deeper than most of the other commercially important sea cucumbers of the world. Therefore, individuals are not so readily accessible by divers as species that predominantly occur in shallow water and dredges are often used for collection.
- Sea cucumber catch volumes in Japan declined by about 30% between the 1960s and 2005. Production method of the species has largely shifted away from wild capture to aquaculture in Japan, China and Korea (IUCN 2013; Xu et al. 2015). The latest 2019 wild capture volume of Japanese Spiky Sea Cucumber (in live weight) from Japan was about 6,500 tonnes, while data on aquaculture production were not available.
The FAO statistics are catalogued on FishStatJ software by FAO and by default (not by specification), the Unit name is “Tonnes – live weight” but major published reviews (e.g., FAO global review report) illustrate that many of the countries are actually reporting dried products, which are very roughly one-tenth of the weight of the fresh live animals. So, a large number of the data entries are underestimating live weight by a order of magnitude. The discrepancies in FAO data have been known for many decades and reported in several publications.