Time’s up

Beche-de-mer harvest season closes Wednesday next week


THE Beche-de-mer harvest season will close on Wednesday next week, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) confirmed yesterday.

Director of Fisheries Mr Edward Honiwala in a phone interview yesterday, said the harvest season ends on January 31, 2018, after it was extended in December last year from its initial three-month open season, from October to December.

This means harvesting of beche-de-mer after Wednesday next week is illegal, and resource owners who are found to harvest this product after the said date will be dealt with by MFMR and the police.

Honiwala could not comment on the timeframe of the closure, but said any decision to re-open the beche-de-mer harvest period in the future must be scientific based.

He said the MFMR will carry out a nation-wide beche-de-mer stock assessment survey to determine the situation and stock of beche-de-mer in the country.

“This is under our work programme planned for this year, a baseline survey will be carried to look at the general situation of the sea cucumber across the country.

“This will help the ministry in decision making on reopening the harvest of the product, we will conduct this to found out how this product recover after this harvest period,” said Honiwala.

He said the MFMR found out that resource owners fail to impose control rules when harvesting their resources, which leads to over harvesting.

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