The Alaska red sea cucumber (Parastichopus californicus), also named giant red sea cucumber, is the only sea cucumber species harvested commercially in British Columbia. The commercial fishery is a limited entry fishery with 85 license eligibilities. The fishery commences in October and is scheduled for 8 weeks. Alaska red sea cucumber is widely recognized in the Chinese market for its stout muscle and high nutritional value. China is the largest market for sea cucumber, where the skins have been used for centuries as a medicinal food.
Harvest is by hand picking while SCUBA diving. All of the fresh sea cucumbers are sent to processing plants by refrigerated trucks to ensure their liveliness, and they are processed immediately using natural and healthy methods to ensure good quality. No ingredients are added during processing. The average annual catch of Alaskan red sea cucumber in recent years is about 500 tons.