Electric Catching Earthworms, Tens of Thousands of Tons a Year? | The Problem Cannot Be Ignored: Behind the Underground Industry Chain Lies the Soil Ecological Crisis (II)
2020/5/12 10:09:00 本站

Introspection: what is the relationship between earthworm and soil?


Due to the imperfection of the law, for many years, the relevant government departments can only turn a blind eye to the indiscriminate catching of earthworms and cannot do effective punishment. Lei Zhen, deputy director of Qionghai Municipal Bureau of Agriculture and Forestry, said in an interview with the media at the end of last year that the law enforcement team of the bureau of agriculture and forestry had even held a special meeting to discuss the handling of earthworm catching farmers after receiving complaints from local villagers several years ago. They went through all the laws and regulations but failed to find a proper punishment. The only thing they could do was to persuade farmers not to catch earthworms. As a result, persuasion did not work at all.


The industry is not clear about the relationship between earthworms and soil. To say the benefits of earthworm, almost everyone can say a lot: for example, earthworm can loosen soil, help to decompose waste, earthworm manure can increase soil fertility, and so on. What are the specific functions of earthworms? What does it mean for the soil itself that earthworms in the soil are caught on a large scale? No one can tell.


Zhuo Shaoming, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, believes that catching a small number of earthworms will not have an impact on the environment. However, catching a large number of earthworms will inevitably cause irreversible harm to the environment. The reason why the behavior of catching earthworm is terrible is that people don’t know what kind of crisis it will lead to.


Zhang Wen, a researcher at the Hainan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, previously said, “we don’t know the number of earthworms in a piece of land means, or how the reduction of earthworms will affect the soil.”


The lack of scientific research makes the risk of excessive catching of earthworms more urgent. At the end of 2014, there was a big discussion about the excessive catching of earthworms in Hainan. Local media and experts all called for a severe crackdown on this kind of behavior. After the discussion, the department of land and resources of Hainan Province concluded the behavior of wantonly catching and purchasing earthworms in the Qionghai area: should crack down on this kind of behavior that leads to the destruction of soil ecological environment and save the earthworm in Hainan. At that time, it was planned to strive for financial funds in 2015 and cooperate with universities, scientific research institutions, enterprises, etc. to further study the earthworm and soil ecological environment.


Earthworms have a wide range of uses


“Earthworms in Guangdong and Hainan are called ‘guangdilong’ in the industry. Fresh earthworms are mainly used to feed eel and other fish; dried earthworms can be ground into earthworm powder to raise fish or sold to traditional Chinese medicine factories for traditional Chinese medicine.” Mr. Kong, who buys earthworms, said that the wild earthworms in the South have a lot of water. Generally, 10 jin of fresh earthworms can be dried into 1 jin of dried earthworms. This is consistent with the local farmers. The earthworms cultivated in the north can be dried up to one jin by six jin of fresh earthworms. The earthworm of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) needs to be tested to see if heavy metals and other pollutants are exceeding the standard. And the earthworm cultivar "Daping No. 2” dried in the sun is mainly used as a component of western medicine.


The earthworm is one of the most important Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, which contains many kinds of amino acids. The earthworm is one of the 67 kinds of animal medicines recorded in the earliest Chinese medicine monograph Shennong Ben Cao Jing. According to Shennong Ben Cao Jing, earthworms have the functions of clearing away fever, stabilizing, clearing body channels, relieving cough, relieving asthma, and diuresis. Usually used for high fever, delirium, epilepsy, joint pain, cough, hypertension, and other symptoms.


Besides, there is also a large demand for earthworms from fishing gear companies. Hainan has a large number of fishing gear companies that purchase wild earthworm varieties. Haikou fishing company said, "our earthworm is wild, full of toughness, vitality, standard specifications, price concessions, which is the best choice for anglers."


(Photo credit: ycwb.com)

Original Chinese article:


By / Xue Tongtong