- Global wild capture of sea cucumbers (several different species combined in live weight) in the latest FAO estimation in 2019 was about 59,000 The most recent total capture of White teatfish reported by Australia in 2019 was about 54 tonnes (live weight).
- White teatfish is highly valued and is targeted by fishermen together with other species of sea cucumber for international trade, mainly for food.
- White teatfish occur mostly in deeper waters, relatively deeper than another valuable sea cucumber species Black teatfish (Holothuria whitmaei). Some of the population is a bit deeper than even hookah divers will venture and therefore White teatfish face less fishing pressure than the Black teatfish or may find some refuge in deeper waters.
- White teatfish, together with Holothuria nobilis and Holothuria whitmaei, were listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix II in 2019. International trade of the species is now under the management of CITES and valid permits are required for imports and exports of the species. Exports are only allowed if these are determined the source countries not to be detrimental to the species.
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.