25 Jul 2011

Call for lift on ban on beche de mer in Solomon Islands

7:37 pm on 25 July 2011

The Solomon Islands government is coming under pressure to lift the ban on the harvesting of beche de mer.

The ban was put in place after concerns that beche de mer was being exported illegally but there are reports that that trade is continuing while the ban is harming some rural communities.

Our correspondent reports officials in the Ministry of Environment and Fisheries saying the matter is now being politicised, making it harder to sort out.

However lobby groups from Ontong Java say a continuation of the trade is critical because islanders have depended on it for years.

The spokesperson for the house of chiefs on the island, Dr Reginald Aipia, says it's a sad fact that the lost of the financial return is affecting the islanders' food supply.