Sri Lankan fishermen in the northern part of the island are opposing Chinese sea cucumber fishing. Sea cucumbers are a delicacy in far Eastern markets that fetch a high price.

Meanwhile, the government has sanctioned large-scale commercial sea projects in Jaffna, Mannar,  and Kilinochchi in a bid to earn foreign exchange by exporting sea cumbers.

A Macau-based Chinese firm has come forward to invest in scale sea cucumber farming in the Puttalam and Jaffna districts. The project in the pipeline will be located on 36,000 acres of water to yield 8.6 million kilograms of sea cucumber and it will be carried for ten years.

Local fishermen are opposing this project as they fear destruction to the marine ecology.
Fishermen also fear that such large projects will restrict their fishing activities.

In Chinese literature, the earliest documentation of the cooking of sea cucumbers was in the Ming and Qing dynasties. A book in the Ming dynasty notes its physical resemblance to men’s genitals, which might contribute to its popularity as an ingredient at that time, given the Chinese belief that one can reinforce a specific part of the body by eating food that is in a similar shape.

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