11 Jul 2005

Solomon Islands government bans harvest and export of beche-de-mer

3:38 pm on 11 July 2005

The Solomon Islands government is banning the harvest and export of beche-de-mer in August because its stock is running out.

The Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources says the decision to implement a ban on harvesting and exporting the sea slug follows the findings of marine researchers that the national stock is depleting at a worrying rate.

The researchers belong to the World Fish and International Waters project and carried out their work in 5 of the 9 provinces.

They believe the trend is nationwide.

The permanent secretary of the department of fisheries, Gione Bugotu, says if the beche de mer continues to be harvested at the present unsustainable rate, within ten years it would be extinct because it takes years to regenerate.

Solomon Islands earns millions of dollars from beche-de-mer exports every year.