By: Olkeriil Ngirudelsang
The bureau of marine resource is currently in negotiation to secure Trochus(semum) buyers following the declaration of its open season. The potential trochus buyer is a local trader with foreign partners and he will be made know after negotiations are concluded, according to Bureau of Marine Resource Acting Director Percy Rechelluul.
“Talks with the potential buyer are still ongoing because the trochus trader initially intended to buy only 15 tons of trochus while we are anticipating that 70 to 100 tons will be harvested. He also offered to buy at a price of fifty cents per pound so we’re negotiating for that price of trochus to increase” revealed Acting Director Rechelluul.
In a phone interview, Dir. Rechelluul said that last open season in 2011 “about 70 to 100 tons were harvested so we are basing our estimates on those previous numbers as to how much trochus will be collected this year”. He further shared that trochus was priced at $1.00 to $1.50 per pound back in 2011.
Currently, it is unlawful to harvest trochus at any time regardless of whether it is sought for commercial use or local consumption. The only time trochus could be taken is when a joint resolution by the senate and house of delegates is enacted and an executive order signed by the president is declared to set specific dates as open season for trochus harvesting. This law is pursuant to 24 PNC section 1243(b) which was created during the fourth Olbiil er a Kelulau.
Through the urging of joint resolution 11-4 1S HD1, president Whipps signed executive order 446 declaring June 20 to July 17 2021 as harvest season for trochus. This was enacted after OEK’s review of technical report No. 20-16 entitled “Recent survey results indicate Trochus niloticus(Semum) population increase since 2016”.
The Presidential Executive Order 446 spells outs when to collect, where and where not to collect semum, size restrictions and processing of semum for commercial purposes.