29 Mar 2013

PNG fisheries authority considers restricting sea cucumber trade

4:28 pm on 29 March 2013

The Papua New Guinea Fisheries Authority is considering limiting the trade in beche-de-mer or sea cucumber to nationals once a ban is eventually lifted.

The trade ban is place due to depleted stocks.

The head of the Fisheries Authority Sylvester Pokajam told the Post Courier newspaper that the country can directly benefit if the trade is restricted to Papua New Guineans.

Coastal communities have recently called for the ban to be lifted but Mr Pokajam says the demand is premature because sea cucumber stocks have not recovered in provinces including Manus and Milne Bay.

He says just over 23 million US dollars was generated from the trade prior to its shutdown but the industry's value is expected to double when the ban is lifted.