Four men from Vaghena island in Choiseul province have been ordered to pay a fine of 2- Thousand dollars each for poaching inside the Arnavon Marine protected area.
The men were apprehended by Arnavon Community Marine Park rangers on the 14th of this month for stealing Sea Cucumbers inside sector four of Sikopo Island.
They have been ordered to pay the fine within the next 21 days and were served infringement notice under the ‘Protected areas regulation 2012’.
Deputy Director of the Environment and Conservation Division, Joseph Hurutarau said the men could’ve been fined 10- Thousand each according to the country’s ‘Protected areas Act’ provisions, but only penalised with 2- Thousand fine because the regualtions stated lighter fines if the individuals were given infrignement notices.
Mr Hurutarau said the case is indicative of the Ministry’s commitment to protecting unique species and promoting conservation.
He said communities must learn to respect protected areas and understand the laws governing such marine sites.
“I’m appealing to people in the area to respect this legally protected area, there measures in place and there are people who put alot of resources to manage those areas,” he said.
“These areas are protected to ensure sustainable conservation and communties must learn from this protected area to conserve their own resources.”
SIBC understands the Arnavon Islands is the only legally registered Marine park in the Solomon Islands.
By: Lowen Sei.