SPC issues reports to members on sea cucumber management
SPC provides members with specialised advice to help them protect the endangered sea cucumber.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community, or SPC, is issuing its members with specialised advice to help them protect the endangered sea cucumber.
The SPC says while the sea cucumber is in general decline in the Pacific, each country has a different situation which requires specific recommendations.
But a spokesperson for the SPC, Kalo Pakoa, told Amelia Langford it is up to the countries to take the SPC's advice on board.
KALO PAKOA: In the last four years, SPC has been receiving many requests from member countries in this particular area so the response has been to build the capacity of fisheries officers in being able to assess resources and try and collate fishing information and for them to understand better where their fisheries is and therefore come up with measures that can be used to control the fishery. So that has been the effort in the last four years and we are studying to get the information across to many fisheries managers.
AMELIA LANGFORD: And how important is it that these countries do protect the sea cucumber?
KP: Okay, the sea cucumber is mostly a commercial commodity in most Pacific Island countries but there are a few countries such as Palau, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, where sea cucumber is also strongly featured in the subsistence fishery so it is a subsistent fishery for food security needs for some communities in the Pacific and at the same time an exportable commodity. So, in areas where resources or income opportunities are limited, sea cucumber is one of a few opportunities available for communities to generate an income so it is a very very important resource for some areas in the Pacific.
AL: So these countries have now got their reports from the SPC with their recommendations?
KP: Yep, so far the first four reports have come out. The rest are still in printing or in the final stages so by the second quarter of this year the rest of the reports will be out. These reports will be helping them to push forward with management measures to try and stabilise their fisheries.
AL: Yes, so it is now up to those countries to make sure they put those recommendations in place?
KP: Yes, exactly, it is now up to the countries and we are, like I have mentioned, we are helping them with their management plans. SPC can only do [so] much and it is up to countries to take it forward. And so far we can fairly say that Pacific Island countries are beginning to understand the importance of fisheries and some countries are now taking steps to put in place measures which is a good sign of what is to come. SPC continues to assist those countries in providing advice where necessary. So we hope to see better things to come.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: