Stiff fines no deterrent

Sea cucumber. Pic: public domain.

Criminals fishing for sea cucumber to the south of Japan are ignoring the increasingly harsh penalties for their coveted catch. Japanese police arrested five poachers with a 625 kg catch of sea cucumbers last week. Valued at around 10,000 pounds, the haul was one of the largest in recent years. Sea cucumber is an overfished delicacy that faces sharp declines in population if current levels of exploitation continue. Unfortunately, there is no reliable way of calculating the sustainability of surviving stocks.

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