Malaita Province’s Principle Fisheries officer, Martin Jasper says the stock of Bêche-de-mer in Malaita has started to deplete and decline.
According to Mr Jasper, this is due to the current over harvesting practise in many parts of the province.
Mr Jasper believes that once Bêche-de-mer harvesting continues for a period of time, the stock will vanish.
However, he said that there should be an assessment carried out before imposing or lifting a ban on any protected marine spices in the country.
This is according to the normal process before opening the harvest period.
He clarified that the assessment is purposely to find out the stock or quantity of Bêche-de-mers’ that are available in our waters.
“The assessment report should be submitted to the cabinet to decide on any imposed or uplifted ban for such valuable marine resources like Bêche-de-mer.
“Obviously, by looking at sizes of Bêche-de-mer that have reached buying areas in Auki, they are very small under required sizes,” Mr Jasper said.
He further stated that his office is yet to receive any directive from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resource to control the time frame for Bêche-de-mer harvesting in Malaita and the country.
However, Mr Jasper said that there is an increase on the total of Bêche-de-mer buyers currently operating in Malaita province.
It is totalled up to 10 and of the ten, two are foreigners and eight are local buyers.