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Cabinet temporarily lift ban on sea cucumber harvesting

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 15/06/2020

Cabinet has yet again overturned another ministry’s decision, this time, allowing a ban on harvesting sea cucumber to be temporarily lifted, despite the ministry’s surveys showing that harvesting sea cucumber now could be dangerous for the already very low sea cucumber population in Tonga’s waters.

Cabinets decision sees the now seven-year-long ban lifted, to allow fishing communities to harvest the sea cucumber and make an income from this, which was requested due to the impacts of the COVID-19 restrictions on the fishing communities usual source of income.

The Prime Minister announced this decision in Parliament today saying there are conditions in place, with the ban being lifted temporarily, and will be back in place in September.

The Ministry of Fisheries CEO – Dr. Tu’ikolongahau Halafihi says they had advised and provided the scientific evidence from the ministry regarding the current state of sea cucumber in Tonga but understands the circumstances that led to this cabinet decision as sea cucumber will be a source of income for a family in need during this time.

© Radio and Television Tonga News

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