Maldives has stopped issuing permits to export two species of sea cucumber, from the island nation.
The Ministry of Environment and Energy made the announcement via a publication in the government gazette on Thursday.
As such, the announcement reads that the two species of sea cucumber, White Teatfish or Holothuria fuscogilva and Black Teatfish or Holuthoria nobilis, are to be included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), passed during the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) held during August 2019.
Maldives is a part of the convention and was granted a one-year-period to prepare and implement the export ban.
As of August 28, the two species of sea cucumbers are designated as endangered under the convention.
According to the announcement, export of any living being included under the convention should be done after acquiring a special permit issued by CITES management authority.
Said permits are issued under a Non-Detrimental Finding (NDF) by CITES that makes sure the population of the species does not lessen beyond endangerment through collection, hunting and fishing.
If CITES findings show that the species are subject to endangerment, permits will not be issued.
The announcement goes on to read that the Maldives Marine Research Institute conducted the NDF into the fishing of the two species of sea cucumbers of which export has been banned, following the convention having passed to include them on its list.
The institute’s findings indicate that the population of the two species is at risk of diminution.
Further, the announcement reads that permits will be issued once more after ensuring that the population of the two species will not see a detrimental depletion due to fishing and collection.