The Fijian Government has extended the harvesting and trading periods for beche-de-mer or sea cucumber after numerous requests from the coastal communities.
Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau said the decision was based firstly on the numerous requests from the communities and the Ministry’s assessment of the resources.
He said that continued monitoring of beche-de-mer population health, timely data reporting from the licensed harvesters and traders, proper data recording, management, analysis, enforcement, and compliance with scientific backing indicate that beche-de-mer populations remain healthy while $17 million in direct cash transactions has gone to resource owners to build back better from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said additional economic benefits will be derived from the exports of processed beche-de-mer, which will be a significant boost to the Fijian economy.
The ongoing assessments have informed the Government’s decision to extend the harvesting window to 2nd February 2023.
The trade and export period will also be extended to 2nd April 2023. The size limit is 7.6 centimetres for all fully processed beche-de-mer species that are approved to be harvested.
Koroilavesau added the Ministry will continue to review beche-de-mer population health and follow international best practices to ensure we keep to the path of sustainability.