Zeming announces uplift of ban on beche-de-mer

The harvest of beche-de-mer (sea cucumber) will resume in January 2017 after a six-year ban, Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Mao Zeming has revealed.

A moratorium on the harvest of this fishery was imposed in 2009 due to its stock and specie depleting rapidly as a result of overfishing.

The National Fisheries Authority (NFA) Board made the decision to lift the ban after it was satisfied from results of a number of surveys conducted that the stock has recovered sufficiently.

A new management plan approved by the NFA Board will ensure that beche-de-mer is harvested under strict conditions to protect the fishery and the ecosystem.

“On behalf of the board and management of NFA, I want to announce that the harvest of beche-de-mer will resume in January,” Zeming said in a statement.

“The results of our survey indicate that the population of sea cucumber has shown some positive recovery, across all habitats and at species level, over the six-year (ban) period.

“While that is good news, I should point out that full recovery has not been achieved yet,” he said.

He also pointed out that while the moratorium is being lifted overall, the designated closed season (October – March) every calendar year will be maintained because it is the peak spawning period for tropical species of sea cucumber.


Freddy Mou