Sea cucumber

Individuals fined for breaching fisheries act

Manus police reported that a sea cucumber buyer appeared in the Lorengau District Court on the 2nd of October for two counts of unlicensed buying and obstruction of fisheries enforcement officers.

He was convicted and fined K20,000 for each count, and was given until the 2nd of November to pay off the K40,000.

In another incident, five men from Loniu village in Los Negros LLG appeared in court on Friday, the 9th of October, for diving at night for sea cucumber. They pleaded guilty to the offence and were convicted.

Deaths reported in sea cucumber season

This was a concern to Manus Provincial Police Commander, Chief Inspector David Yapu, when he sent his officers to investigate two incidents reported to Police on the 5th and 7th of this month.

Yapu said a 41-year-old man went out diving on Monday October 5th and did not return home. His body was found floating near Patu and Tawi Island two days later.

In a separate incident on Wednesday 7th October, four young men from Baluan Island went diving for sea cucumber near Sibisa Island when a shark attacked one of them.

Villagers ask for help in trade

Initially concerns were raised this month about NFA’s deferral of sea cucumber sales to the 1st of August after previously informing the public that the beche- de- mer trading would be opened on the 1st of July.

Goata Taumaku speaking on be-half of the other fisherman said that while the NFA’s short notice to stop them from selling is not good enough he is asking them to help raise awareness about the trade.

Sea cucumber management plan under review

This follows issues encountered during this year’s open season. 

Following the uplifting of the moratorium on beche-de-mer by Government, the National Fisheries Authority opened the harvesting season this April.

Coastal provinces grabbed the opportunity and raced out to fish for sea cucumbers, as they generate good money.

However, because of sustainability, NFA as the regulating body put in place Total Allowable Catch or TACs for each province.

According to the NFA managing director, John Kasu, all provinces have already reached their TACs.

Zeming announces uplift of ban on beche-de-mer

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.

Vessel with 200 drums full of sea cucumber impounded

Alotau’s Provincial Police Commander Joseph Morehari says 13 people were apprehended; 11 Koreans and two Filipinos were interrogated.

They were later charged and arrested.

Islanders have been reporting to police about having sighted vessels in the nearby islands fishing for sea cucumbers which were protected by a cessation.

All the sea cucumbers on the vessel have been removed and the boat has been impounded to be inspected.

Picture Source: Loop file picture

Chimbu man fined for being in possession of sea cucumber

Timson Morua of Chimbu Province was arrested and charged for two offenses under section 58 of the Fisheries Management Amended act for being in possession of illegal or banned fisheries products.

The PNG Power employee based on Daru Island was arrested in Port Moresby on March 28 at the Jackson Domestic Airport after 23.9 kilograms of dried and processed bechedemer or sea cucumber was found in his possession.

The sea cucumber species found in possession at the airport was the sand-fish species of sea cucumber.