Ban on using diving gear to harvest sea cucumbers
The Ministry of Fisheries is urging all fishers still using Underwater Breathing Apparatus to harvest sea cucumber to discontinue this practice.
This follows reports received by the Ministry that the usage of UBA to harvest sea cucumber and the killing of turtles still continued along some of Fiji’s coastal villages and islands.
There is currently a ban in place on the usage of UBA on the harvesting of sea cucumber.
Minister for Fisheries, Hon. Semi Koroilavesau had issued the ban late last year, citing “the significant number of premature deaths arising from the extensive use of UBA’s in the harvesting of sea cucumber.”
Minister Koroilavesau said that a couple of unfortunate accidents and death due to this continued use has occurred.
“This uncommon surge of deliberate disobedience is aggravated by the push from suppliers of UBA tanks and refilling services based ashore,” Minister Koroilavesau said.
Minister Koroilavesau added that those found to be carrying out these activities would be severely dealt with by the law.
“We are also made aware through our Fisheries intelligence sources that behind this continued illegal use of UBA for sea cucumber extraction are middlemen buyers and some traders.”