THOSE currently harvesting or buying bechedemer in Malaita are urged to pay for their business licence.
Caretaker premier Peter Ramohia made the call, Monday.
“We’ve learned many bechedemer dealers who got their licences from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) failed to visit the provincial office in Auki before going out to Ontong Java,” Ramohia said.
“Only few pay up their licences with the province while many just went out and do harvesting without settling their business licence with the province,” he added.
He revealed that many of these culprits are Asians who don’t want to listen.
Ramohia said the business licence to harvest bechdemer in the territories of Malaita Province is $20,000 for locals and $50,000 for foreigners.
“Everyone who involves in engaging locals to harvest bechedeemer in the territories of Malaita Province must pay up their licence as required in the business ordinance of the province.”
Ramohia called on Provincial Members for the wards in Luaniua, Pelau and Sikaiana to attend to their people who acquired licence from Fisheries to export bechedemer and deal with them on the spot.
The caretaker premier said this is one of the sources of revenue for the province.
“We have collected almost $200,000 in the last opening season so we are expecting more revenues in this current harvesting period.
“But if they failed to pay up their licences then the province is losing big money,” he said.
Ramohia said an Asian who got robbed by armed men from Bougainville in the Lord Howe atoll was one of those who failed to pay up his licence to the province.
Bechedemer harvesting will close in October of this year, according to the Ministry of Fisheries.
By AATAI JOHN LAUNGI