PACIFIC Island countries have been warned against over-exploiting the lucrative demands for the beche-de-mer market and advised to introduce tougher regulations to ensure the future of coastal fisheries.
The advice was delivered by Dr Tranform Anqorau, head of the Parties to Nauru Agreement (PNA) at the second day of the Pacific BÃªche-de-mer and the Future of Coastal Fisheries meeting in Nadi.
"It is very difficult to rebuild stock that has been over-exploited" he noted.
"There is a need to develop strong property rights over these areas and a need to have better control of the value chain and raise the standard of processing."
According to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community's fisheries director Moses Amos, the status of Fiji's coastal fisheries was serious. "It is a serious issue in Fiji because of the population and threats of climate change, habitat degradation" he said.