Sea cucumbers are being illegally harvested amongst the rocks of Samara beach and other nearby beaches like Garza. The Public Force of Samara and INCOPESCA (the Costa Rican Institute of Fishing and Agriculture) have been decommissioning an increased amount of sea cucumbers during the past month.
Three sacks of sea cucumbers were decomissioned in Cangrejal by the Samara Public Force at 10 p.m. on March 12 thanks to an anonymous call, according to Jorge Luis Jimenez Gonzalez, district police chief, and the week before INCOPESCA decommissioned 150 kilograms (about 330 pounds) of dried sea cucumbers, ready for sale.
Unfortunately the culprits are rarely caught. Jimenez explained that they frequently work with a boat ready in the ocean to escape as soon as they see a light. They leave the sea cucumbers behind and disappear.
According to data from INCOPESCA, sea cucumbers illegally extracted from Costa Rica are exported to Nicaragua and from there are sold at high prices to countries like China, where according to traditional medicine, the creatures are believed to have health benefits for blood and kidneys.
Anyone who notices illegal harvesting of sea cucumbers should inform INCOPESCA or the Public Force.