On Wednesday, May 10, 2018, more than 600 kilograms of sea cucumber, which is currently under closed season, were seized by agents of the Ministry of Public Security (SSP) in the port of Chicxulub, municipality of Progreso, Yucatán.
State police officers were conducting a routine surveillance night tour of the area, when they observed two pick-up trucks carrying several black plastic bags.
When inspecting the load, the agents realized that the men were carrying sea cucumber in the plastic bags. In one truck there were 14 bags and in 8 in the other one, with an approximante total weight of 660 kilograms of this species that is considered very valuable in the Asian market.
The SSP agents proceeded to arrest both drivers and their companions, to transfer them to the public jail and then hand out the case to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), as well as the seized product and the two vehicles.
According to the police report, the six detainees gave the name of the person who owns the vehicles and said who would receive the product illegally captured.
Luis Ernesto Martinez Ordaz, delegate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa) reported that in 2017 there was a quota of 1,966 tons for a 15-day period, but only 1,938 tons were captured.
“It was a good season with an important economic benefit, that was profitable for everyone, even though the goal was not covered,” he said.
With respect to 2016, cucumber fishing was not restrictive, and for 10 days, approximately 1,700 tons of that marine product was captured.
The sea cucumber is a species that is banned practically all year long, in order to take care of its biomass, but due to its high demand in Asian countries and the high prices they pay, Yucatecan fishermen constantly beg the authorities to open the season for a few days, so they can take advantage of the high prices.
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