19 Feb 2008

Solomons to ban sea cucumber harvesting

4:09 pm on 19 February 2008

The Solomon Islands Fisheries Ministry says it will ban the harvesting and selling of sea cucumbers from April this year.

The selling of the sea animal had been banned earlier, but it was lifted a few weeks after the tsunami hit the country last year to support fishermen in earning some money.

Solomon Islanders and Asian companies have sold sea cucumbers to many Asian countries over the past months, where they're regarded as delicacies.

The ministry's permanent secretary, Dr Christian Ramofafia, says it now needs to protect the declining numbers of sea cucumbers.

"The ministry has planned to close the fishery for an indefinite period starting on the first of April. The reason is the fishery is overharvested now and we plan to close it for us to develop a management plan for the fishery."

Dr Christian Ramofafia