Beche-de-mer exporters

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  • Four beche-de-mer exporters decided
  • MFMR releases prices of Beche-de-mer

BY JARED KOLI

THE Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) has concluded the screening of four companies identified to export the lucrative beche-de-mer product.

The exporters were each given an Offer Letter, and are yet to confirm their offer and pay an export licence fee, according to MFMR Communications Officer Francis Pituvaka.

When asked yesterday, Mr Pituvaka could not name the four companies as he maintained that formalities are yet to be completed – the confirmation of the offer and a licence fee of $SBD200, 000.

“Four of the applicants applying for the beche-de-mer export licence have been decided on, they have been issued an Offer Letter each but are yet to return to the Ministry to confirm whether they accept the offer or not,” he explained.

It is understood that once the MFMR receives a confirmation from the four, names could be known in the coming days.

Meanwhile, MFMR Permanent Secretary Dr Christian Ramofafia has told The Island Sun that there are many applications but the four selected are based on strict conditions of the four criteria set by MFMR.

Director of Fisheries Mr Edward Honiwala added that companies or individuals not meeting the requirement will not be considered.

“Others will argue to grant export licence to locals but many locals are backed by Foreigners. From our experience, licence fee is high and locals could not afford, we have seen that many locals are backed by outside people.

“We will look at their commitment with the ministry and support on the development of the country, in terms of employment because all these things are about development of fisheries,” the two echoed in a recent interview.

The Ministry yesterday also released a local buying price guideline for a total of 54 different species of beche-de-mer during this opening period.

The new buying price sets the ‘white teatfish’ as the most expensive or high valued species with a minimum price of $500 for white teatfish A and $300 for whiteteat fish B. (see separate advert from MFMR in today’s issue)

The high value group is seconded by $400 worth Black Teat Fish A for its dry (processed) product.

The products are categorised in three groups namely 24 species in the high value group, 11 species in Medium Value group and 13 in low value group.

Dr Christian said the ministry provides the price range to local buyers and exporters, because the complexity of the trade, many of the buyers didn’t link with exporters.

“When we issue export permit we will also be giving exporters a price guide as condition for their license. The licence will be issued with conditions, and one of the conditions is not to buy undersized beche-de-mer,” Dr Christian said.

Dr Christian said the ministry will put in place a strong guide to support villagers in terms of pricing because the lifting is aimed at supporting them.

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