BY JARED KOLI
FISHERIES Minister Snyder Rini has been urged to ‘have a heart’ and use his powers to revoke a cabinet decision that permits only four beche-de-mer exporters for this harvest season.
A well-placed source, who has spent the last 15 years working with multiple local-based Asian beche-de-mer exporters, said having only four exporters will result in low competition among the buyers and impact hard on the resource owners.
“I work with them and knew very well what these Asians have been practicing during the past beche-de-mer harvest periods. They are good at manipulating prices. At times they lied to local sellers that there is a cut of price of beche-de-mer in overseas market.
“My concern is to have more buyers to allow a competitive market but at the same time enable people to have the best benefit they can have on their resource,” the man, who requested anonymity to protect his job, said.
He claimed one of the four Chinese beche-de-mer exporters has been red-marked by MFMR for breaching some of its regulations during a past harvesting period, but yet MFMR granted him an export permit.
MFMR, when reached over the matter, said; “The Ministry of Fisheries only implements cabinet decision and only cabinet has the power to revoke any decision.”
“As per your question regarding the claim by your source that one of exporters has issues with the Ministry of Fisheries – that issue has been cleared and therefore the Ministry cannot hold anyone liable for something that has already been resolved.”