THE public has again been warned to respect the current bech-de mer (Sea Cucumber) ban following the confiscation of more than 50 kilograms of dried beche-de mer at a warehouse in Auki, Malaita Province.
A combined raid by Compliance officers from the Ministry of Fisheries and Police on a warehouse at the Malaita Provincial capital Auki has found more than 50 kilograms of dried beche-de-mer early this week.
The raid was conducted following a tip off that a certain businessman at the Malaita Provincial capital is engaged in buying beche-de-mer despite the ban.
Police and fisheries officers raided the property and confiscated the beche-de-mer products and also arrested the businessman.
Director of Fisheries Edward Honiwala confirmed the raid saying that it should serve as warning to others who are still involve in illegal harvesting of beche-de-mer to stop or face the consequence.
“The ban is still in place and those who engage in harvesting the product are doing it illegally,” he said.
Mr Honiwala said those who continue to harvest of beche-de-mer despite of the ban are stealing the resources of the country and the future generations.
“If you know of someone in your village or community who is involved in illegal harvesting of beche-de-mer, report him immediately to the police or fisheries officers near you,” he said.
The director stressed that the reason for the ban is to ensure beche-de-mer are able to re-stock again.
Mr Honiwala said his ministry is concerned that harvesting of beche-de-mer has continued despite warnings and urged people to respect the law.
“I want to appeal to the people to respect the ban and not to harvest beche-de-mer during the ban period,” he said.