We will monitor companies’ bechedemer offer prices: Fisheries

Fijian authorities will monitor prices offered by nine companies selected to buy and export bechedemer over the next three months as part of measures put in place to prevent exploitation of natural resource owners or harvesters.

Fiji’s Permanent Secretary Trade and Licensing Committee chair Shaheen Ali said while companies have been given powers to dictate prices the Ministry of Fisheries would keep a tab on the prices.

“We advocate fair pricing and the reason why we have selected a number of firms is to ensure there is competition and the resource owners have access to the most competitive prices,” he said. “The Ministry of Fisheries will monitor the prices and will ensure that fairness dictates the trading of bechedemer.

“We have told resource owners to try multiple sources and get the best price for their commodity. The exporters know best and all the measures that we have put in place will encourage them to give a fair price and not exploit the ‘qoliqoli’ owners.

“The monitoring will be done. We’ll see whether there is exploitation going on or not, but the ministry will very easily will be able tojudge all that. We should not think that the resource owners are not shrewd businessmen. They are. We need to ensure sustainability when trading so that these resources are available to us, not just now but in the future.”

Director Fisheries Neomai Ravitu said in the local market the prices would be dependent on the state of processing of the commodity.

“So, the drier, the better value added the product is, the higher the value of the product is when compared to the ‘wet’ prices.”

The harvesting and trading of bechedemer runs from 1 July until 31 October this year.

Size approved by Fijian Authorities
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