Micah welcomes lifting of harvest ban on sea cucumbers

National

KAVIENG MP Ben Micah has welcomed the decision by the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) to lift the ban on the harvesting of sea cucumbers. The ban was imposed in 2009 to replenish the stock following overfishing.
Micah said the NFA must ensure that sea cucumbers were harvested under strict conditions.
“This is a very lucrative marine resource that will earn much revenue for the people and country if managed properly,” he said.
“Sea cucumbers are vital to the marine ecosystem and must be sustained and replenished under strict harvesting guidelines.”
Micah also said the harvesting of sea cucumbers must be restricted to Papua New Guineans as the fishery was prone to foreign exploitation.
“The country’s stock of sea cucumbers was almost depleted seven years ago because of overfishing and foreign exploitation of this lucrative marine resource,” he said.
“Therefore, the Government and NFA must ensure that the current stock is sustained and replenished for the future.”
Micah said his people welcomed the lifting of the ban as Kavieng and New Ireland were major producers of sea cucumbers.
Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Mao Zeming said yesterday the ban would be lifted in January and trials would begin in Milne Bay province next month.

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