Authority: East Sepik, Manus reach catch limit


THE National Fisheries Authority (NFA) is continuing to issue notices to provinces which have reached their total allowable catch of beche-de-mer – sea cucumber.
They include East Sepik and Manus.
A NFA notice yesterday warned fishermen in the two provinces, buyers and exporters to stop harvesting.
“The total allowable catch has been reached,” authority managing director John Kasu said.
“NFA now declares that the harvesting of sea cucumbers will cease immediately as of today (Oct 13).
“In consideration of transportation challenges and distance from town for outer islanders, those who have in their possession dry beche-de-mer must sell them to a licenced buyer by Tuesday, Oct 20.”
He said harvesting or collecting after Oct 13 was illegal, plus buying and exporting.
“Perpetrators will be prosecuted or will not be considered for the next fishing season,” he said.
According to the NFA website, growth in the beche-de-mer industry has gradually increased in the last few years.
There was also an increase in the number of participants, type of trade activities and financing arrangements.
The overall export has levelled off to more than 400,000kg annually, a result of the weaker kina against the US dollar, at about K21 million.
BDM Exporters Association president Harry Landu said PNG’s main export market was China although other markets were opening up in Australia and New Zealand.