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Sea cucumbers, an Asian delicacy, seized at U.S.-Mexico border

November 3, 2009 |  7:11 am

More than 300 pounds of sea cucumbers, an Asian delicacy, were seized by U.S. Customs agents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to customs, the sea cucumbers -- a soft-bodied animal found on the ocean floor name refers to its its pickle-like shape -- were discovered in the luggage of two Chinese citizens trying to cross into the United States on Sunday.

Sea cucumbers are dried and used in some Chinese soups -- and fetch up to $45 per pound.  It's illegal to import food into the U.S. without declaring it.

The suspects were fined, according to the U.S. Customs service.  Sea cucumbers, which can grow up to 6 1/2 feet long, are are considered a healthful dish in Chinese culture and are often served with winter melon and mushrooms in a soup.

--Shelby Grad

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