State Limits Harvest of Sea Cucumbers, Booger-Like Food and Alleged Aphrodisiac

Categories: Animal Planet

seacucumber.jpg
via Wikimedia Commons
Eric Lee runs Florida's sole sea cucumber harvesting plant in Ramrod Key. But now his business is pretty much set to fail. Back in February, we wrote about the state's clamoring to place limits on the amount of sea cucumbers that could be collected at one time. The reason? People in Asia have a folk belief that these sea penises can boost their sexual performance.

It's true. Sea cucumbers have become insanely popular in the East, particularly in China. In 11 countries, their populations have collapsed due to the fad, and overall, there are about 20 percent fewer of these creatures than before it caught on. Wildlife officials in Florida knew they needed to act. Even places like the Great Barrier Reef have been decimated by people's crazed desire for sea cucumber, which we guess is like a more holistic version of those terrifying pills you see at your local gas stations that's also not made out of crushed glass, drain cleaner, and Vitamin B-5.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission was supposed to impose harvest limits two months ago but delayed at the behest of Lee, who relies on the sea cucumber to make his living. While the proposed limit was 200 per day, Lee claimed he needed to snag about 500 of the slugs to keep his processing plant afloat.

See also: Florida's Sea Cucumbers Are Disappearing Because People Think They're a Natural Viagra

After trying to come up with a compromise, the commission voted this morning to go with its original plan, which will go into place June 1.

"Sea cucumbers are vulnerable to overfishing due to their sedentary nature, which makes them easy to locate and collect, and because of their life-history characteristics such as their late reproductive age, their need for a dense population in order to successfully reproduce and their long life span," the FWC said in a statement about their decision. "They are also ecologically important, as they help cycle nutrients in nutrient-poor tropical reefs and oxygenate sediments."

But Lee just sees dollars signs when he looks at the Chinese water dildos. Given that they can barely move, they're pretty easy to catch. And before the FWC stepped in, he was able to scoop up as many as he could without permission. Now he'll have to come up with another plan -- perhaps hawking ExtenZe or Spanish Fly? We heard Spencer's Gifts might also be hiring.

"[The new rule] effectively, under current market conditions, puts us out of business," Lee said after the vote, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti





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4 comments
elee
elee

5.  My company, myself and my family are now suffering great hardship after having moving back to US from the "real Free Country called "China".  My company was penalized for the actions of illegal processors who FWC failed to take action against and the person and the only company actually obeying the law and going through the time effort and expense of FDA and Florida Dept of Agriculture regulations was penalized.

6.  As for your statement  "Sea cucumbers have become insanely popular in the East, particularly in China. In 11 countries, their populations have collapsed due to the fad, and overall, there are about 20 percent fewer of these creatures than before it caught on." is also INACCURATE. Sea cucumbers have been a popular part of Chinese medicine and culinary industry for hundreds of years, you would know this if you had lived in China or done your proper research on Chinese culture.  THIS IS NOT A "FAD" as you call it.  Sea Cucumbers  have been widely used in Traditional Chinese medicine not for "Aphrodisiac" purposes but rather to treat joint pain as sea cucumbers contain high levels of Chondroitin which is essential in maintaining one's joints.  
7.  We provided FWC with all our research and information (including our business model) to demonstrate we were not going to over fish sea cucumbers. We also gave them financial information showing that given the crack down on corruption in China the price of sea cucumbers has collapsed and that the numbers that FWC was using to show that there would be financial incentive to fish for sea cucumbers was grossly exaggerated due to their lack of understanding of International Politics and how it can effect market price in China.
8. Finally given your lack of understanding of what goes into the sea cucumber processing process I will educate you so that you can understand its not as  simple as going out catching a fish putting on ice and selling to fish house, it does not work like that.   It physically takes 30 days to get "One Catch from one day" of sea cucumbers to just the wholesale market.  First: Marine life collectors must catch the sea cucumbers. Second: the sea cucumbers are held in a baskets for 3 days in a tank so then can poop out all the sand they consume. Third: The sea cucumbers are gutted and boiled for 2 hours. Fourth: they are cooled in an ice bath for another hour. Fifth they are reboiled for another 30 minutes. Sixth: then the are re-cleaned to remove any remaining guts.  Seventh: they are skewered and put into a heat dryer for a minimum of 20 days in which temperature is changed at different stages to ensure the sea cucumbers are dried property to achieve a uniform look.    The dryers are monitored by a staff of people 24 hours a day for 20 days to be sure the temperature and settings are maintained.   Ninth:  The sea cucumbers are then sorted by size into S,M, and L.  Then they are shipped out to wholesale buyers.  So as you can see just one shipment takes a tremendous amount of work something which you were probably not aware of. 
Please next time, before you accuse someone of being a irresponsible business person please do your due diligence FIRST!! do just rely on other media reports to write your own article.  GO OUT INTO THE FIELD AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK!  NEITHER YOU NOR FWC ever visited my site to understand the business it is this laziness to do due diligence is the reason why AMERICA cannot keep up with CHINA in doing business cause people would rather just sit at their desk and just randomly make rules or just write inaccurate articles! 
Eric LeeFlorida Sea Cucumber Corp

elee
elee

Dear Ms. Conti 


My name is Eric Lee president of Florida Sea Cucumber Corporation 
I recently read your article that you wrote back in April and I want to clarify some of your accusations and gross misrepresentations you made in your article.
1.  We are the only FDA, Florida Dept of Agriculture approved facilities for export of Sea Cucumbers in the entire state of Florida and the East coast of the U.S..  We are a "Processing Center" NOT A "HARVESTER" as you accused us of being.  Their is a big difference of which will be explained later.
2.  The extreme rise in sea cucumber landings were not caused by myself or my company.  The rise went from 17,000 to 60,000 in one year.  My company operating with all licenses issued by "Florida Fish and Wildlife", we hired fully licensed "Marine Life collectors" to collect a total of 5000 sea cucumbers during the so called spike in landings.  If you had done your homework much like Florida Fish and Wildlife did not do their homework when accusing me of being the cause of this rise in sea cucumber landings, you would have seen that according to the reported "trip tickets" submitted to FWC my company was responsible for only 8% of the total sea cucumber landings.   The "other people" who were harvesting sea cucumbers were "illegally processing them into food". AGAIN I STATE WE ARE A FULLY LICENSED "FDA APPROVED FACILITY FOR FOR EXPORT"  WE DO NOT HARVEST, WE ONLY PROCESS. "MARINE LIFE COLLECTORS ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN DO THE HARVESTING"  SO YOUR STATEMENT: " And before the FWC stepped in, he was able to scoop up as many as he could without permission. " is grossly inaccurate as I am at the limitations of the Marine Life collectors and I operate under all regulations and licences to purchase sea cucumbers from the Marine life collectors and to process sea cucumbers in accordance with FDA and Florida Dept of Agriculture regulations!!  
3. In addition there is no way we could collect "as many as we want" because there are physical limitations as to the amount you can put in one live well tank before they start dying and that number is about 500.  Any more than 500 and you start to lose your catch due to death.  When a fish dies you can just put it on ice, you cannot do that with sea cucumbers, when they die they begin to dissolve literally.
4.  My company and I from the very beginning have operated legally and under all STATE and FEDERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS and as a result of Florida Fish and Wildlife's inaction to just enforcing the already strict rules already in place they decided to "make more rules instead of cracking down on the ILLEGAL SEA CUCUMBER PROCESSORS".  IN ADDITION FROM THE BEGINNING we made a point to acquire our "aqua culture license" and start a breeding program so that we could put back the sea cucumbers we took from the water.  NO FISHERMEN in the keys does this "sustainable fishing" but we sought to do it for the start and you write your article having not called to discuss the matter with me nor did you do your proper due diligence and if you did do your proper due diligence than the angle of your article might be considered slander as your chose to leave out crucial details that paints me and my company as a ocean pirate who cares nothing for the health and balance of the ocean.

elee
elee

Dear Ms. Conti 


My name is Eric Lee president of Florida Sea Cucumber Corporation 
I recently read your article that you wrote back in April and I want to clarify some of your accusations and gross misrepresentations you made in your article.
1.  We are the only FDA, Florida Dept of Agriculture approved facilities for export of Sea Cucumbers in the entire state of Florida and the East coast of the U.S..  We are a "Processing Center" NOT A "HARVESTER" as you accused us of being.  Their is a big difference of which will be explained later.
2.  The extreme rise in sea cucumber landings were not caused by myself or my company.  The rise went from 17,000 to 60,000 in one year.  My company operating with all licenses issued by "Florida Fish and Wildlife", we hired fully licensed "Marine Life collectors" to collect a total of 5000 sea cucumbers during the so called spike in landings.  If you had done your homework much like Florida Fish and Wildlife did not do their homework when accusing me of being the cause of this rise in sea cucumber landings, you would have seen that according to the reported "trip tickets" submitted to FWC my company was responsible for only 8% of the total sea cucumber landings.   The "other people" who were harvesting sea cucumbers were "illegally processing them into food". AGAIN I STATE WE ARE A FULLY LICENSED "FDA APPROVED FACILITY FOR FOR EXPORT"  WE DO NOT HARVEST, WE ONLY PROCESS. "MARINE LIFE COLLECTORS ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN DO THE HARVESTING"  SO YOUR STATEMENT: " And before the FWC stepped in, he was able to scoop up as many as he could without permission. " is grossly inaccurate as I am at the limitations of the Marine Life collectors and I operate under all regulations and licences to purchase sea cucumbers from the Marine life collectors and to process sea cucumbers in accordance with FDA and Florida Dept of Agriculture regulations!!  
3. In addition there is no way we could collect "as many as we want" because there are physical limitations as to the amount you can put in one live well tank before they start dying and that number is about 500.  Any more than 500 and you start to lose your catch due to death.  When a fish dies you can just put it on ice, you cannot do that with sea cucumbers, when they die they begin to dissolve literally.
4.  My company and I from the very beginning have operated legally and under all STATE and FEDERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS and as a result of Florida Fish and Wildlife's inaction to just enforcing the already strict rules already in place they decided to "make more rules instead of cracking down on the ILLEGAL SEA CUCUMBER PROCESSORS".  IN ADDITION FROM THE BEGINNING we made a point to acquire our "aqua culture license" and start a breeding program so that we could put back the sea cucumbers we took from the water.  NO FISHERMEN in the keys does this "sustainable fishing" but we sought to do it for the start and you write your article having not called to discuss the matter with me nor did you do your proper due diligence and if you did do your proper due diligence than the angle of your article might be considered slander as your chose to leave out crucial details that paints me and my company as a ocean pirate who cares nothing for the health and balance of the ocean.
er

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII topcommenter

Stupid effin sex crazed Chinese impotent turds.

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