The dealers who buy these further prepare them for market by
clipping and shaping them, and then removing any foreign matter remaining
in them. They are packed in burlap in square boxes, as a rule one grade
being packed to a box. Sponges having large holes and that are otherwise
imperfect, are known as "cuts." Those with imperfections, but which do not
require cutting, are called "seconds," while whole, perfect specimens are
known as "forms."
The Florida sponge industry is never able to meet the demand.
Sponge beds soon become depleted. Some effort has been made toward
conservation; the size of the sponge taken must be not less than five inches
in horizontal diameter. Divers are prohibited from diving in Florida State
waters and usually work not closer than nine miles from shore.