Beche-de-mer warning

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ONLY genuine beche-de-mer buyers will be allowed to do business in the Central Province, its premier Stanley Manetiva has warned.

Manetiva issued the warning yesterday as people within the province venture out to dive for the lucrative sea cucumber.

“We don’t want to see buyers coming in to fool our people who are struggling to earn money when they have the opportunity,” Manetiva said.

The national government recently lifted ban on beche-de-mer harvest, allowing people to harvest the produce for a year.

Manetiva said buyers must obtain provincial licence in order to trade and must do so according to the correct price from the Ministry of Fisheries.

“I want genuine buyers only in Central Province, and those who have paid their business licence,” he stated. Guadalcanal Province also issued a statement yesterday, reminding buyers to obtain business licence before moving into the province to trade.,

“Anyone who buys beche-de-mer without a licence will be liable for prosecution,” the statement said.

Guadalcanal also informed its people not to rush into selling their beche-de-mer, saying the responsible ministry is yet to finalise the buying price of beche-de-mer species.