Police officers fined 33 illegal hunters of sea cucumbers in the western province of Balıkesir a total of 150,400 liras and released 450 kilograms of living creatures to the sea.
A relative of starfish, the sea cucumber is a marine invertebrate shaped like a short, thick serpent.
They have leathery skin and measure between 10 to 30 centimeters (four to 12 inches).
The species occupy ocean floors worldwide and are hunted widely worldwide, often to be supplied to the Asian markets.
Bred and sold by the Turkish government, the species are illegal to hunt.
Asian cuisines utilize sea cucumbers widely in dishes that range from soups to fried finger food.