19 Jan 2012

Call for Chinese sea cucumber operation in Vanuatu to relocate from Gaua

10:58 am on 19 January 2012

A youth representative from Vanuatu's Torba province, Willy Fruel, has called on the Minister of Fisheries to relocate a Chinese sea cucumber project planned for the island of Gaua.

The Minister James Ngwango signed an agreement with Chinese-owned South Pacific Agriculture Group in October last year for farming and processing the creature which is regarded as delicacy among the Chinese.

Mr Fruel has reiterated concern at the time of the deal that Mr Ngwango has left the people and chiefs of Torba province out of the loop.

"He didn't consult the people first so I think it is like an abuse of power. We depend plenty on our sea and we live to gather some of our meat from the sea, so it is not too good for this to be done."

Willy Fruel.

South Pacific Agriculture Group also has a licence to operate on the islands of Malekula and Santo.