PRESS RELEASE- Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
(23rd August 2021)-On the 21st of August 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in collaboration with the Samoa Police Services responded, to calls and reports from the public of an alleged illegal operation of Sea cucumber commonly known in Samoan as fugafuga being processed at a residence in Vaitele Fou.
There were freshly processed sea cucumber found, with an estimated volume of 150 kg (wet weight) and 30 kg being boiled and processed were accordingly seized. Dried Sea Cucumber or Beche-de-mer as commonly known at the export market currently retails at an estimated price of USD $20 – $100 per kilogram depending on the species. An estimated value of these seized fishery products is to be around USD $5,000. In addition, live sea cucumber were found at the operation and were immediately seized and released into a nearby sea area as they stand a good chance of survival.
It is an offence to operate an establishment for the process, trade and market of any fish without the required licence under the Fisheries Management Act 2016.
The investigation of this alleged illegal operation of sea cucumber has commenced. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Samoa Police Services continues to carry out joint operations in ensuring our fisheries resources are conserved and maintained.