The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) has described the allegations by Transparency Solomon Islands International (TSI) as grossly misleading and lacks credibility.
“As a watch dog organisation, TSI has failed miserably to cross check for facts before publishing such allegations in the media,” Director of Fisheries stated.
TSI claimed MFMR has been inconsiderate in its handling of the issue of beche-de-mer (BDM) which saw increasing number of Asians going to Malaita Outer Islands (MOI) with their local business partners to buy BDM products from resource owners. MFMR wishes to clarify that while the Ministry has the overall control over the management of sea cucumber (BDM) fishery, the Provincial Government and the resources owners have the right to decide on who to do provincial and community trading of their BDM products during the opening season. To be fair in their report, TSI should go down to the people and get their side of the stories, rather than misleading this paper with one person’s sided story.
On the other issues raised by TSI, MFMR wishes to inform the public of the followings;
MFMR appeal to TSI to come to the MFMR and get a balance story on these issues, as these issues emerged when Public Officers trying to implement the Fisheries Laws of this country. The Law is for all the people of this country and for TSI to take side of these issues is also a concern for those Public Officers trying their best to enforce the laws of this country.
The Ministry of Fisheries denied the claim that Dr Aipia was targeted saying this is not true.