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Clean Up the Ocean by Breeding Vast Herds of Sea Cucumbers, Then Eating Them

Scientists in Britain -- wait, I mean the United Kingdom -- propose to breed sea cucumbers in large numbers. These animals will eat the waste off the ocean floor and can then be sold as a food product:

It breathes through its anus, can liquefy its body and acts as the waste collectors of the seabed. Scientists now believe that a species of sea cucumber living off the British coast could become a lucrative culinary export.

A project will begin this year to see whether it is possible to harvest commercial quantities of sea cucumbers – which are animals not plants – from beneath fish farms where the seabed is laden with the organic detritus.

Experts believe it may be possible to clean up the sea floor below the fish farms by cultivating vast "herds" of sea cucumbers while at the same time producing a valuable culinary delicacy that is highly prized in China and the Far East, where processed sea cucumbers can sell for extortionate prices.


According to the one diner quoted in the article, sea cucumbers taste like phlegm. What's not to like?

Link via reddit | Photo: Independent

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Chill out with the newly-acquired consciousness of terminology for the UK. The scientists are in Newcastle, which is indisputably in Britain. In England, even.

@ sandyra: 'extortionate' is a perfectly cromulent word, and 'extortionate prices' a pretty common phrase:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extortionate
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"is highly prized in China and the Far East, where processed sea cucumbers can sell for extortionate prices." I've never heard of the word "extortionate" before. Is that a cross between exorbitant and extortion?
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