New Pohnpei Sea Cucumber law makes case to bar harvests moot

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

 

February 6, 2020

Pohnpei—Because of a new Pohnpei law, the claims of young plaintiffs against Young Sun International Trading Company and Pohnpei State to halt the harvest of sea cucumbers are moot. The law established a five year moratorium on sea cucumber harvests in Pohnpei as well as the terms for the establishment of a Sea Cucumber Commission. It became law without the Governor’s signature on January 20.

Attorney Marstella Jack orally asked the court to drop the claims of her young clients against the State and Young Sun. The counsel for Pohnpei State agreed to allow the matter to be dropped.  Young Sun did not.  Plaintiffs and defendants are now awaiting a court ruling on whether or not it will dismiss the court action.

The sea cucumber matter is not over by a long shot.

Young Sun still has a counter claim against the Conservation Society of Pohnpei from an earlier case on sea cucumber harvests that has not been pursued nor adjudicated.  Young Sun could file a counter claim against the young Plaintiffs in the current case for losses it says it sustained as a result of the civil action the Plaintiffs filed that resulted in the halting of their ongoing sea cucumber harvest. 

Young Sun may also decide to sue the Pohnpei State Government for breach of contract or other causes.