20 May 2013

Solomons urged to enforce new beche-de-mer ban

1:53 pm on 20 May 2013

Transparency Solomon Islands is urging the government to monitor and strictly enforce the ban on beche-de-mer exports when it's reintroduced at the end of this month.

The government lifted a three-year ban on harvesting and exporting of the marine product at the end of February for a three month period.

Transparency Solomon Islands last month called for an independent investigation into the recent shipment of beche-de-mer following allegations that the exports were undervalued.

The executive officer Daniel Fenua says there's been a number of cases in the past which suggests exporters will try and defy the ban and says the government shouldn't turn a blind eye to it.

"There are laws in place but the problem with the government at the moment is enforcement, the government is already aware of these issues and it has to take a serious step to ensure that people who are in charge of exporting this product comply with the laws of this country."

Daniel Fenua says the current fines for breaching the ban aren't enough of a deterrent to exporters who stand to make big money from beche-de-mer.