Fisheries authorities in Fiji are seeking to impose a seasonal ban on beche-de-mer exports by the end of the month because the resource is on the verge of being wiped out.
Beche-de-mer or sea cucumber is considered a delicacy in China and top varieties can sell for more than $US2,000 dollars a kilo.
Fiji's new minister of Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau said he had already banned the use of scuba-diving gear for harvesting beche-de-mer but it had done little to slow exports.
"So what we are going to do now is what we call seasonal ban. So there has to be a period of ban where we will carry out another survey and see the population of this stock and review our decision from there."
"I am hoping that it will be banned by the end of this month," he said.
Mr Koroilavesau said alternative fisheries ventures such as deep sea fishing would be promoted in communities who would be affected by the ban to counter any loss of income or negative impact on livelihoods.
He said his ministry was also promoting culturing of beche-de-mer in local communities for release into the wild to help speed up the recovery process.