Authorities Intercept a Vessel Illegally Transporting 12.3 Million Seahorses Extracted from the Pacific

Peruvian authorities caught a ship transporting 12.3 illegally-caught seahorses that was bound to arrive in Asia. A Coast Guard detected the vessel 200 miles of the seaside city of Callao before it was redirected to the main seafood port in Peru.

According to reports from officials, the seahorses were illegally extracted from the Pacific Ocean and packed into boxes which weighed more than 2,300 pounds. They were estimated to more than $6 million and would’ve been sold in the international market.

Why Are Seahorses Illegally Caught & Sold?

According to investigators, seahorses are considered very important in traditional Chinese medicine and are believed to be helpful in the treatment of asthma, arthritis, and infertility.

The National Police of Peru was closely following the prohibited extraction of seahorses several days before they placed it on the boat by a crew of 4 men.

The three Peruvian men and one Venezuelan man were arrested, but their identities weren’t released to the public. They face between 3 to 5 years of prison if convicted.

Seahorse Fishing & Transportation Is Illegal

In Peru, since 2004, the fishing, transportation, and sale of seahorses are prohibited by law. The caught seahorses which showed symptoms of dryness and dehydration will be donated to research groups and local universities.