Speculation is rife that the growing Chinese population in Jamaica could be fuelling the demand for a slimly water creature called sea cucumber, which they believe stimulates sexual desire.
A marine expert told The STAR that sea cucumber is an animal that is a delicacy that has been eaten in Asia for a thousand years.
"The increase in the Asian population locally is creating a demand and so apparently there is a local market not just an export market," the expert said.
Five fishermen of Clarendon addresses were charged for possession of sea cucumbers without a licence on Tuesday after they were held with approximately 300 pounds of sea cucumbers at Welcome Beach in the parish on Tuesday.
The marine expert said the 300 pounds of sea cucumber for which the five men have been arrested is a relatively small quantity. He said that a sea cucumber can decrease from 10 inches to two inches when dried.
"The Chinese tell you that it is an aphrodisiac," he said. "They say it is good for stomach ache, they say it is good for cancer," he continued.