They are called pepinos de mar, which translates to the English “sea cucumbers.” They also might be considered the poor man’s Viagra because many cultures think that the sea creatures can enhance virility.
Police officers said they think that a bag of about 500 of the tiny creatures was headed to Nicaragua when they detained two men at Sámara. The men were residents of Matapalo, police said.
The sea cucumbers are protected by law in Costa Rica. Employees from the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura also participated in the arrest. Also present were two minors.
The sea cucumbers in the bag were dead, said police.
The sea cucumbers are called that because they are narrow and long. They have a tough skin. Those who have eaten them say they are pretty tasteless and have to be mixed with sauces or some other flavoring. They said the sea cucumber was similar to tofu in that regard.
The creatures live on the floor of the sea, so they are easy to capture in shallow waters.