An example of the beche-de-mer. Photo credit: Solomon Times.

An example of the beche-de-mer. Photo credit: Solomon Times.

Solomon Islands Cabinet has already agreed to lift the beche-de-mer harvest ban during discussions in July this year, well-placed government sources told the Solomon Star.

But the decision won’t come into effect unless the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources signed the instruments to have the ban lifted.

The ban has been in force since 2010. Last year, Cabinet decided to lift the ban for three months to allow resource owners to harvest and earn money from this highly-priced sea product.

Pacific Islands News Association reports their sources said Cabinet is now waiting on Minister Alfred Ghiro, who has just returned from his trip to China, to sign the papers.

Earlier this month, the ministry dismissed claims that the beche-de-mer ban had been lifted, saying there was no such directive from Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Selina Lipa from the Ministry’s licensing division said they have not received any word from Cabinet authorizing them to lift the ban.

She said any decision to lift the ban will have to come from Cabinet.

Solomon Star said its sources say Mr Ghiro is expected to sign the instruments as soon as he arrives back from China.

His recent trip to China with his Permanent Secretary was reportedly to discuss fisheries issues, particularly with tuna.

Secretary to Cabinet James Remobatu said he did not know of any decision to lift the beche-de-mer ban.

He said the only decision he knew was cabinet had approved a fisheries management plan.

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