French customs police have seized 2,000 dried seahorses smuggled into France in several postal packages en route from Guinea to Vietnam.
The endangered creatures were discovered in plastic bags by customs officers in a Paris suburban post office. The national customs police said in a statement Friday that the seahorses were slated to be sent on a flight to Vietnam, where they could be used in traditional medicine or sold to tourists.
Customs officers frequently seize endangered animals, alive or dead, being smuggled to or through France.
As part of efforts to fight the trade of protected species, the environment ministry this week banned all trade in ivory and rhinoceros horns in France.
More than 20 million seahorses are estimated to be traded each year for traditional eastern medicine, according to Endangered Species International.
Seahorse pills are believed to spur growth. They have also been proven to have high levels of collagen which is encouraging women to use it as a substitute for Botox.
It is believed that seahorses will become extinct in the next 20 to 30 years.