A large quantity of sea cucumber, an endangered species under the Wildlife Protection Act, has been seized from a fishing hamlet near here and one person arrested on the charge of stocking it with a plan to smuggle it to Sri Lanka.
Coastal Security Group (CSG) police personnel recovered 600 kg of fully processed sea cucumber, worth Rs 12 lakh in the illegal market, from the house of one Murugan in Keechankuppam and arrested him last night, police said today.
He had been handed over to the forest department for prosecution under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Sea cucumbers, which play an important role in maintaining the marine ecological system, have been classified as endangered species and their harvest banned under the Wildlife Protection Act.
However, sea cucumbers were being harvested illegally and sent to Sri Lankan and other South East Asian countries where there is huge demand for use as food and in preparing medicines, officials said.
Nagapattinam, Vedaranyam and Kodiakarai in the district often serve as a hub for sea cucumber trade and the coastal security group police have made several seizures of the species.