16K Dried Seahorses Seized in Peru
Police seize cache destined for Asia
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 24, 2012 12:29 AM CDT
Updated Aug 24, 2012 12:45 AM CDT
Seahorses are being fished for powdered folk medicine in Asia.   (AP Photo/Monterey Bay Aquarium, Randy Wilder)

(Newser) – Some 16,000 dried seahorses have been seized in Lima, Peru. The endangered creatures were destined for Asian markets, where powdered seahorses are used in folk medicine in China, Japan, and elsewhere to treat various ailments and as an aphrodisiac. The illegal cache could have fetched up to $250,000, reports the BBC. Seahorse fishing is illegal in Peru, and the creatures are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Yet some 20 tons of dried seahorses were seized last year alone.