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Gov't to raise maximum fine for poaching sea cucumbers, abalone to 30 mil. yen

Poached sea cucumbers that were seized by Hokkaido Prefectural Police are seen in this photo provided by the police force.

TOKYO -- Amid rampant poaching of sea cucumbers and abalone, the Fisheries Agency is set to increase the maximum fine from 2 million yen to 30 million yen for violating the Fishery Act.

The agency intends to enact a bill to revise the act, including the countermeasure against poaching, during the current extraordinary Diet session.

Under the proposed bill, it will be prohibited to catch sea cucumbers and other marine products without authorization. Violators will be slapped with a fine of up to 30 million yen or a maximum prison term of three years.

According to the agency and other sources, the number of organized and malicious cases of poaching, such as those targeting sea cucumbers that are sold at high prices, has been growing.

(Japanese original by Akiko Kato, Business News Department)

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