By GYNNIE KERO
THE National Fisheries Authority says the ban on the harvest of beche-de-mer (sea cucumber) imposed in 2009 will be lifted before the year ends.
According to managing director John Kasu, it would be “very soon.”
Kasu did not disclose the exact date but said Fisheries Minister Mao Zeming would make the announcement when all arrangements were in order.
He said from past experiences, people tended to harvest beche-de-mer even before a moratorium was lifted.
“We will not advise the public as yet, because from past experience, when you say it’s going to open in said time, people are already harvesting.
“When its officially opened everything is on the market and the next day you close because you already reached your total allowable catch (TAC) in the first two days already.
“We will hold the date until when everything is ready.
“We appreciate the sentiments expressed by resources owners, we are working to lift the moratorium and that will be happening in a short while, maybe this year.
“The management plan is already approved by the board.
“Currently we are working on the implementation plan. The plan is approved but you have to put all these processes into place.
“People comment on the moratorium but I think the moratorium is good. We have done three years and closed it for another three years, a little over six years,” Kasu said.
“The moratorium is successful but not to the extent that we expected. We have seen recovery of stocks in some areas, certain areas are kind of recovered, but we would like to see that closed a bit longer.
“When it comes to resource management we need to consider, biology, economics and social aspects.
“But we will need to determine the TAC for each province, once TAC is reached we will close for the year. We need everybody’s participation to can protect resources.”
By GYNNIE KERO