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#480960 - 12/28/13 03:53 AM Fisheries Crack Down On Sea Cucumber Market
Marty Offline
Most of us don't even know what a sea cucumber is, much less that you can eat it. But it's a much sought after delicacy in Asian markets and while it's been fished out in most parts of the world, it's still being extracted in Belize and exported legally and illegally.

But now, the Department of Fisheries wants to slow things down. And so, the season which should open next week on January first has been postponed. A notice from the Fisheries Department says that no Sea Cucumber fishing license or Sea Cucumber export license will be issued since the Sea Cucumber fishery will quote, "remain closed until further notice."

Our information is that Fisheries wants to carry out an assessment of what it considers a very vulnerable species before it opens the season. They don't feel comfortable opening the season without being satisfied that the populations are robust enough to withstand another year of exploitation.

Dried sea cucumber attracts a higher international market price than conch or lobster and Guatemala has huge demand. The illegal trade with that country is considered robust.

Channel 7

#481246 - 12/31/13 04:19 AM Re: Fisheries Crack Down On Sea Cucumber Market [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
The Fisheries Department hereby informs the PUBLIC that no Sea Cucumber fishing license or Sea Cucumber export license will be issued since the Sea Cucumber fishery will remain closed until further notice. The public is reminded that it is illegal to fish without a license and that the fisheries laws will be applied to persons caught fishing illegally. Your cooperation is vital to secure the sustainability of the resource.


2014 fishing licenses for Sea Cucumbers (Holothuroidea) will not be issued on January as scheduled. In a press release sent out on December 27, 2013, the Belize Fisheries Department stated that no Sea Cucumber fishing or export license will be issued since the Sea Cucumber fishery will remain closed until further notice. This is due to the need to assess the ecosystem of Sea Cucumbers in Belize in order to determine if the industry is sustainable to Belize’s marine life.

Sea Cucumber is a delicacy in both Asia and Central America, and buyers pay top dollar. The market for them is quickly growing, and the increasing demand for the product is causing overfishing in many countries. Asia alone consumes 95% of the world’s Sea Cucumber export.

According to Fisheries, it is very important to assess the sustainability of the product before the season can open. Sea Cucumbers are a delicate species that need to be harvested by hand. They are found in nearly every marine environment, but are most diverse on tropical shallow-water coral reefs. Dried before exports, Sea Cucumbers can be a major source of revenue for the country, but close monitoring is needed to prevent overfishing and resource depletion.

Until the Sea Cucumber fishery reopens, the public is reminded that it is illegal to fish without a license. Fisheries laws will be applied to persons caught fishing illegally.


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