8 Aug 2011

Solomons PM intervenes in beche de mer dispute

10:15 am on 8 August 2011

The Solomon Islands prime minister, Danny Philip, has stepped into a dispute involving leaders of Ontong Java over beche de mer, sea cucumbers.

There is a blanket ban on the harvesting of the delicacy but the people of Ontong Java are calling for the ban to be lifted saying they depend on it for food and income.

Leaders say people are unhappy with the ban especially as there is a food shortage there.

The prime minister's press secretary, David Tuanuku, says Mr Philip is urging the leaders of Ongtong Java to find a way of dealing with the issue.

He says the government may look at options to assist it in addressing the situation in the area.

"One is for the government to review the ban, looking at a partial lifting of the ban, looking at other actions it could consider."

David Tuanuku says the prime minister is extremely concerned about the situation there.