No End in Sight to Indonesia’s Stoppage of Coral Exports

20 Dec, 2018

A lone Queen Angelfish remains in these tanks at an Indonesian marine livestock, where governmental infighting has effectively banned the export of all corals, wild or farmed, for most of 2018. Image credit: OFI

A lone Queen Angelfish remains in these tanks at an Indonesian marine livestock, where governmental infighting has effectively banned the export of all corals, wild or farmed, for most of 2018. Image credit: OFI

via Ornamental Fish International

December 17th, 2018
Montfoort, The Netherlands – Indonesia’s ban on all exports of live corals in the marine aquarium trade continues, as both farmed and wild-collected specimens are included in a ban imposed with no prior warning on May 4, 2018.

OFI President Shane Willis

In an official update on the current status of the coral export trade in Indonesia, Ornamental Fish International (OFI), says that the coral trade in Indonesia continues to remain effectively closed despite many statements and rumors that problems had been resolved. According to some overly optimistic reports, coral exports should have already resumed.

“OFI was able to meet with senior government officials in Jakarta to discuss the coral export suspension during the recent Indonesia Ornamental Fish and Aquatic Plant Show (NUASTIC 2018) at the end of November,” according to OFI’s President of Shane Willis.

“It seems there are still some ‘issues’ preventing exports at this stage. However, another meeting is being organized to sort out these issues. AKKII and the rest of industry hope this issue is resolved soon.” (AKKII is the Indonesian Coral Shell and Ornamental Fish Association, based in Jakarta.)

Any inability to export coral means tanks and raceways are bare, and people are out of work in Indonesia's marine aquarium livestock trade. Image credit: OFI

Any inability to export coral means tanks and raceways are bare, and people are out of work in Indonesia’s marine aquarium livestock trade. Image credit: OFI

“It was really sad to see so many empty coral tanks at Indonesian export facilities and hear about the thousands of people who have lost their jobs in this industry already!”

Further communication with Shane Willis revealed additional insights.

“During the recent visit to Indonesia, I was able to meet with several senior government officials and also express our concerns to the coordinating minister about the ongoing export suspension.

“Despite the recent inter-ministry meeting from several weeks ago when all ministries involved with exporting corals agreed that it should resume, there still have not been any exports of corals. It is my understanding that one shipment was tried but the documentation was not provided by Minister Susi’s department.

“However during discussions with AKKII at NUSATIC the coordinating minister indicated that he thought everything was resolved and that farmed coral exports were being exported again – it seems the government doesn’t even know what is/should be happening there. He also announced that wild corals should be protected but that farmed product must be exported. He stated that he would organize a meeting in December to finalize and resolve the matter.”

Commenting on the seeming chaos, author and OFI VP Svein A. Fosså said, “The tragedy of the Indonesian coral trade ban continues.”

The result of a months-long halt of coral exports from Indonesia? Empty raceways where corals would otherwise be held prior to sale. Image credit: OFI

The result of a months-long halt of coral exports from Indonesia? Empty raceways where corals would otherwise be held prior to sale. Image credit: OFI

 

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Reef To Rainforest
Reef To Rainforest

Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC is the publisher of award-winning magazines and books in the fields of aquarium keeping, aquatics, and marine science. It is the English-language publisher of CORAL Magazine and is based in Shelburne, Vermont, USA.

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