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Thousands Of Sea Cucumbers Wash Up On The Shores Of Phu Quoc

Last week, tourists in Phu Quoc were privy to a strange sight, as thousands of sea cucumbers washed up on the shores of Long Beach.

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According to experts, the creatures' habitats are being destroyed by pollution, tourism activities and a practice called blast fishing, in which local anglers use explosives to stun or kill large groups of fish at once, reports Tuoi Tre. Without coral reef to protect the long, limbless animals from large waves, sea cucumbers are more susceptible to washing ashore.

Along the beach, Phu Quoc residents rushed to collect the dead creatures, which are local delicacy and typically sell for around VND70,000 a kilo in the local market. Beachfront resorts also employed clean up crews to clear the animals off the beach for guests.

While the mass wash-up may have been financially lucky for a few island families, it has alarmed environmentalists and long-time Phu Quoc residents alike. Locals had never seen such a phenomenon and experts warned that if Phu Quoc didn't take into consideration its current fishing and tourism practices then more consequences would come.

It's no surprise, given the island's already-growing troubles with littering and on-land pollution, but let's hope that Phu Quoc gets its act together soon.