The House of Delegates (HOD) is urging President Surangel Whipps Jr, to look into the commercial viability of sea cucumber harvest, which has remained on moratorium since 2011.
In House Joint Resolution No. 11-28-6, members of the HOD said the impact of COVID-19 on Palau has exposed the country’s economic vulnerabilities and that the potential of sea cucumber harvesting could provide the needed food security.
The resolution, which has been transmitted to the Senate for adoption, “respectfully requests his Excellency, Surangel Whipps Jr., President of the Republic of Palau, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and the Environment assesses the viability of harvesting sea cucumber at a sustainable level as a means to improve food security and derive economic benefits from its commercial exports.”
HOD cited the boom of 2011, where there was a high demand for sea cucumber, yielding close to 1.2 million kilograms of sea cucumber in just 48 days and amounting to over $1.3 million in revenues.
Sea cucumbers are locally consumed as a delicacy but fear of overfishing for exports has prompted the government to limit sea cucumber harvesting.
The 2011 incident, the HOD said, also demonstrated the need for regulation to enable sustainable harvesting.
HOD has acknowledged in the resolution that while the seafood trade can cause ‘social and negative, social and environmental impacts,” if done sustainably can be sure of economic development for the country.
We Palauans tend to forget very quick. Before we made a thorough study on giant clam and its aquaculture program we’ve depleted our giant clams, now when we dive to look for giant clam we hardly find one or two. The sea cucumber marketing is another one of the same thing, no thorough scientific research when the Chinese came and depleted the seacucumber. When will we understand that our microscopic island has Only a microscopical natural resources, just enough to feed us and
our children and their children later on. God did not give us this tiny island with commerce in mind. He gave us this beautiful island for our survivability and be humbled andto glorify Him and be grateful for His faithfulness new every morning. Our greed and pride has made us blind deaf, oblivious to the natural beauty which is our gift from God, except
Dollar sign. “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul?” Matthew 16:26 and “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and have pierced themselves with many grieves.” 1 Timothy 6:10
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