JAKARTA, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Police in Indonesia's East Java province have thwarted attempted smuggling of rare lobster seeds offshore and arrested seven alleged smugglers of the species, officials said here.
In a raid at a ware house, the police seized 5,000 seeds of pearl lobster with latin name of panulirus versicolor and 32,000 seeds of sand lobster whose latin name is panulirus homarus.
Both of the seeds are protected by the Indonesian government, partly to maintain their population, provincial police spokesman Senior Commissioner Frans Barung revealed.
The spokesman unveiled that the seven persons collected the seeds in the ware house, planning to ship them abroad.
Indonesian Minister for Maritime Affairs and Fishery Susi Pudjiastuti stressed that the ban on the catch of the lobsters weighting below 200 grams aims at ratcheting up population of the species in the country's waters.
All the lobster seeds seized from the crackdown have been released into sea.
"I hope the lobster seeds that we release will be potential resource in the future," the minister told Xinhua in a text message on Tuesday.
Indonesia is known as the most species rich nation as its vast maritime territory is home to numerable species.