Income rise after ban lifted

National

Reports by HELEN TARAWA
BECHE-de-mer fishermen and women in Central and National Capital District are enjoying additional income, thanks to the lifting of the ban on the fishery.
However, they are concerned at the lack of awareness on harvest size restrictions.
Reeramimo Kornet, from Tuna Bay in Taurama, told The National that beche-de-mer was a big income earner and people in her community were harvesting everything without being aware of the minimum size they are allowed to collect.
“These sea cucumbers have really helped us for these few months. We travel early hours of the morning and wait to sell the products and return home and it’s hard but if this is the only way of earning income, then we have to maintain it,” Kornet told The National.
“These buyers have really helped us and we want to thank the exporters for coming to buy our products here.
She said NFA may have the rules on the undersized catches but she hoped that in future, they would carry out awareness in villages.
Ila Karo, from Alukuni, said they had been making about K5,000 in day from sales.
“We are happy that the market is open and we are making good money to sustain our livelihood,Karo said.
“We like the market to continue but we only have six months according to NFA so we will catch as much as we can within this short period of time.”
CAPS Limited managing director Augerea Kilalema said there was not much awareness prior to the season opening.
“As we have seen, when we buy the product, it’s not as quality as we want. Fishermen’s information about quality control and processing is not there,” Kilalema said.
“Most of it we have to buy and reprocess and with the undersize issue, it is the biggest challenge.
“If the fishermen already harvested and brought it here, what’s the point of sending them back, it’s a waste of resources already.
“We have already set our Total Allowable Catch, which is the main thing that we have based on to control these issues.”

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