A GOOD number of beche-de-mer harvesters in Ontong Java have been caught using dredging nets in the process, during the current open period.
With the surface of the report, local businessman and beche-de-mer exporter, Dr Reginald Aipia is calling on the Police to arrest the people that involved in the illegal practice.
Dr Aipia said that using of dredging net is illegal under the Fisheries laws in Solomon Islands.
He added that the using of dredging nets is illegal because it does not discriminate the different sizes of beche-de-mer -whether small or big.
“Under size beche-de-mer is forbidden by the fisheries where also harvest and sold by some local beche-de-mer sellers in the provinces,” said Dr Aipia.
Dr Aipia added that this current harvesting practice was done by locals working for Asian buyers.
He stated that this practice is unsustainable for beche-de-mer to regenerate and recover stock (spies), in the ocean.
“It will have serious impact on the livelihood of the communities there that relied mostly on bech-demer for income to support their families, especially during such beche-de-mer periods,” added Dr Aipia.
Dr Aipia said they are calling on police officers from Ontong Java to arrest those who practice such illegal harvesting of marine resources, especially the harvesting of beche-de-mer.
However, police officers contacted said that the dredging net practice is fine, due to large catch of expected amount.
But it is also one of the main causes on the reduction of beche-de-mer in the country today.
By MARY IDU BURUMAEA