2 May 2013

Beche de mer exports go through the roof in Solomon Islands

1:49 pm on 2 May 2013

A former Solomon Islands parliamentarian Yukio Sato has warned that the recent lifting of a ban on harvesting and exporting beche-de-mer may hurt the long-term sustainability of the marine resource.

The government lifted a three-year ban in March for a period of three months and Mr Sato, a prominent businessman, says there has been a mad rush to export the product because international demand is so high.

He says while the demand for copra and cocoa has dropped, beche-de-mer is likely to fetch good prices for years to come because of the reliable market in China.

Mr Sato says even though the government may only allow for exports over short periods it still needs to look at limits, as many Solomon Islanders rely on the product for food and income.

"Still we need certain control of the harvest otherwise some Pacific nations already lost resources, totally lost. This is a very important marine resource for some Solomon Islanders, they depend on bech de mer production for their life."

Yukio Sato.

The ban will be re-introduced on May the 21st.