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Ban on harvesting sea cucumber won’t be lifted soon

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 01/06/2020

The ban on harvesting sea cucumber may possibly remain for the next 5 years due to the very low number of sea cucumber in Tongas waters.

The Ministry of Fisheries CEO – Dr. Tu’ikolongahau Halafihi says sea cucumber in Tongas waters remain at an extremely low number and he doesn’t see the ban being lifted for at least another 5 years. He says the ban is crucial to allow the sea cucumber population to grow and reach a number satisfactory for the ministry before they can recommend the ban be lifted.

Halafihi was re-emphasizing the reason behind this ban as there had been requests from fishing communities in Ha’apai to have this ban lifted so they can make an income from harvesting sea cucumber as other means of income had been greatly affected by the coronavirus restrictions.

The issue was raised in discussions of the Whole House Committee last week, but Halafihi strongly believes that with the current sea cucumber population, it is highly unlikely that the ban will be lifted any time soon.

© Radio and Television Tonga News