Sea cucumber needed: Wesley

National

SAMARAI-Murua MP Gordon Wesley says the district in Milne Bay produces more than a quarter of the 140 tonnes of sea cucumber produced in the country annually.
Wesley said this was apart from the beche-de-mer illegally poached or smuggled out of the area.
Wesley said the islanders needed sea cucumber to sustain their livelihoods after being affected by cyclone Ita and the recent drought.
“Samarai-Murua is the biggest maritime zone,” Wesley said.
The people depend wholly on marine resources for their livelihood and source of income – until the National Fisheries Authority put up a moratorium in 2009 due to the depleting stock of sea cucumber,” he said.
He said foreign vessels continued to harvest beche-de-mer despite the ban.
“We cannot continue to sit and watch outsiders come in and take our sea cucumbers.
“So far 50 boats have come into our waters to take our resource.”
The National Fisheries Authority will lift the ban from January.

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