Yesterday we received some great news which is bound to be a sigh of relief for the global trade in aquarium corals. After a long hiatus of restricting the issuing of health certificates necessary to export all corals beginning back in May, the Indonesian Fisheries Ministry has rescinded this order. This means that very soon we will start to see Indonesian corals and anemones being shipped around the world again.
This is excellent news for the many businesses that depended on these wildlife products as the lifeblood of their revenue. We always expected Indonesian coral exports to resume but with some changes, caveats and new regulations but surprisingly, it seems to be business as usual, with minor adjustments to oversights by certain regulatory departments.
Following a conciliation meeting in front of all different ministries in the Indonesian National Parliament. The Indonesian fisheries ministry has been asked to revoke their May 4th instruction of not issuing Health Certificate for domestic and international shipments of corals and anemones. Local quarantines are slowly receiving these instructions, so export should be allowed again very soon. But it will take a bit of time until the complete administrative and chain of supply starts off completely again.
Also, we can expect, the fisheries department, to be on the look out for any wrongdoing in order to justify another closure.
The consequences would be disastrous for our industry. This trade ban has been disastrous for many peoples in this industry around the world, with many collectors, exporters, farmers, shop owners… closing down during the summer.
These regulations surrounding this industry must be improved and followed, so those only responsible stakeholders are allowed to work, for the benefit of all. We would like to thank the tremendous work, done by the Indonesian Corals, Shell and Fish Ornamental Association AKKIIand their new board, that was really challenged like no others, just a month after being elected.
We can be sure that they will come out stronger, and have now a great opportunity to lay down, the foundation for a sustainable, long lasting industry. Our thought for the thousands of Indonesian farmers that held off that many long months without any income, and kept on taking care of all these cultured corals, all but for our own pleasure.
Jake Adams has been an avid marine aquarist since the mid 90s and has worked in the retail side of the marine aquarium trade for more than ten years. Jake is interested in every facet of the marine aquarium hobby from the concepts to the technology, rare fish to exotic corals, and his interests are well documented through a very prolific career of speaking to reef clubs and marine aquarium events, and writing articles for aquarium publications across the globe.
His primary interest is in corals which Jake pursues in the aquarium hobby as well as diving the coral reefs of the world. News Gear Saltwater Fish Video. Jake Adams Jake Adams has been an avid marine aquarist since the mid 90s and has worked in the retail side of the marine aquarium trade for more than ten years.Since Mr Edhy Prabowo has been appointed Minister, the change of style and direction is pretty obvious. The first thing that appear, is that the minister is already well informed about the different regulations on this subject and what is at stake.
He is already in contact with all the different stakeholder on this particular subject. According to that statement AKKII representatives argued for wild collection re-opening before mentioning the benefits of maricultured corals.
The minister has some concern regarding collection where coral cover is not optimal or in protected areas and its sustainability. He also has reservations regarding the mix of wild collected and maricultured corals. There may be groups who disagree with the trade in ornamental corals, or there may be groups who feel disadvantaged.
We must be careful. He express his concerns about the way to differentiate wild corals from maricultured ones. However, in formulating something that concerns the interests of the nation and the people it cannot be done instantly and in a hurry. We need time to think, discuss and formulate it thoroughly. In the next weeks, probably that the minister will consult with other stakeholder, before drawing a reopening map.
Even if most of the comments regarding the opening of wild corals collection seems pretty negative, many of the remarks stated about mariculture are easily resolved and the opening of mariculture will probably come before any wild collection can get through. We all hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is soon to come so stay tuned! Vincent is a coral passionate aquarist with extensive experience in the industry, travelling the world to learn about corals.
His background is a master degree in Marine Aquaculture. He set up the first Indonesian Coral mariculture farms at the beginning of the century and spent over 20 years in Indonesia running them.
Indonesian Coral Ban
He's been extensively diving and documenting corals all over the Indo-Pacific. News Gear Saltwater Fish Video. All these corals are waiting to find the way to your aquariums! Vincent Chalias Vincent is a coral passionate aquarist with extensive experience in the industry, travelling the world to learn about corals.As regular readers of this column will know, the Indonesian authorities implemented a ban on all coral exports from the country last May. This has had widespread repercussions, and not just for the coral farmers and collectors.
Thousands of jobs have been lost in Indonesia itself, along with valuable revenue, but coral importers around the globe have also been badly affected. The Indonesian Corals, Shell and Ornamental Fish Association AKKII has been working ceaselessly to have the ban repealed, but, while they remain optimistic that the matter will be resolved, there is still no sign of this happening anytime soon.
So, as things stand at the moment, the coral sector is in a state of paralysis, and although we might all wonder in amazement at the confusing and, at times, contradictory sounds coming out of the country, the inescapable fact is that the crisis shows no signs of going away. But all is not lost. According to the founders of the recently formed Archipelago Ornamental Coral Farmers Association APKHNone of the factors blocking progress is that wild and cultured corals are being considered together.
While at first sight this might not appear to be a major obstacle, it is. Take, for instance, the Honorable Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, coordinating minister of Maritime Affairs, who indicated at a meeting with Ornamental Fish International OFI President Shane Willis that he thought farmed corals should be exported, but, maybe, wild corals should be left in the sea.
It would therefore seem that, if some way could be found of separating farmed from wild-collected corals, a way forward might become possible, even if wild harvest for export were to resume at some stage in the future.
Not surprisingly, this challenge has been taken onboard by a group of Indonesian coral farmers, the founders of the above-mentioned APKHN, who are concentrating entirely on farmed corals.
Thus, finding a way of rescuing this investment would seem not just desirable, but essential. According to an article by Vincent Chalias published on Jan.
International Waters: New Players in Coral Ban
Further, as experience has taught me over the years, the establishment of workable, unambiguous standards is a lengthy and, often, complicated affair, so it might still be some time before everything is in place and APKHN members can begin doing business. Apparently, the APKHN team began approaching the government several months ago and received positive feedback, which sounds encouraging, but time will tell.
Could they, for example, be digging their heels in and not repealing the ban because they know that an alternative association to AKKII is being set up? Will they cooperate at all? John Dawes is an international ornamental aquatic industry consultant. International Waters: New Players in Coral Ban High-end livestock availability has suffered, but retailers see a silver lining in aquacultured animals.
By John Dawes.The ongoing problems with exports of corals from Indonesia and Fiji highlights some of the key issues that our industry faces now and into the future.
The suspension of coral exports from Indonesia and Fiji are both conservation driven and likely the result of the respective governments wanting to conserve coral reefs in their jurisdictions. While the intention is good, the decisions have had the probable unintended consequences of severe economic hardship for industry and their employees. The situation in Fiji is undoubtedly worse with the export ban there being in place since the beginning of the year, and the majority of people once employed in the sustainable fishery in Fiji have lost their jobs with the major players under severe economic stress.
The economic hardship and job losses this creates in both countries is a major concern and it is feared that many of the people who have lost their jobs will be forced to return to activities that are destructive to the reef in terms of using explosives and cyanide for fishing, as well as other destructive activities.
The First Official Statement on the Coral Ban from the Indonesian Fisheries Dept.
We have been informed by our Indonesian members that the export suspension will be discussed at a meeting between relevant government ministries on July OFI will continue lobbying the Indonesian govenrment as well as other institutions that may be able to help resolve this issue and hope that exports will resume soon. Indonesian Coral Export Suspension Update. By Secretariat 0 Comment. Search Search.Shutterstock Image. CITES permits are being issued as normal. There are ongoing negotiations between these two ministries to solve this technical issue.
Indonesians are progressive people and will look for a quick positive outcome. It will be solved within a couple weeks. Shipments will only be postponed, but I anticipate the resumption of coral exports in short order. Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC is the publisher of award-winning magazines and books in the fields of aquarium keeping, aquatics, and marine science.
View All Events. About the author 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. Leave a reply Click here to cancel reply.
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October 8 - October Coral Magazine. Amazonas Magazine. Sign up to get interesting news and updates delivered to your inbox.A beautiful coral reef drops into deep water near a resort off the southern coast of Sulawesi.
These tanks sometimes include live coral pieces as a natural marine habitat, and around 50 percent of these are sourced from the coasts of Indonesia.
In early May, the Indonesian government shocked the ornamental fish industry by shutting down all exports of coral in a sudden blanket ban. National regulation requires health quarantine certificates, with the body issuing these coming from the fisheries ministry, but they also want to take part in controlling and monitoring.
Willis reflected broader concerns around the absence of a stated timeframe and the potential for Indonesia to lose its market share to wild or farmed coral exports from other countries. The effects on retail shops in regions such as Europe that are supplied by Indonesian coral are substantial, with many importers receiving weekly shipments. Coral is a living organism and a perishable good that must move quickly along the supply chain and cannot be stored in warehouses.
David Nicholson from Independent Aquatic Imports in London, the largest aquatic livestock importer to the United Kingdom, said Indonesia was their main supplier for corals and the ban would require them to adjust their business. If that was taken away then it will affect us, but we can get coral from elsewhere. Another potential knock-on effect is upon Indonesian exporters of ornamental fish and their collectors.
Underwater jungle: Cultured corals in Serangan, Bali, which are exported for the global trade of marine aquariums. Indonesia is one of the biggest suppliers of marine ornamental fish in the world, and an estimated 12, people are directly employed in its coral industry.
Perhaps the most dramatic impact would be on grassroots livelihoods in coastal communities, where ornamental fishing is a major employer. In these regions, the catching of ornamental fish provides an opportunity for local fishermen to engage in fishery management, promoting the sustainability of both their livelihoods and functioning of the local reef ecosystem.
Willis believes the ban has the potential to undermine efforts to encourage the sustainable management of coral reef use.
People are going to do what they have to do to survive. While coral reefs have an economic value, coastal communities have a direct incentive to preserve them as a sustainable source of income. Efforts are underway to develop a mechanism, such as a partial ban focusing on exports of wild collected corals, while maintaining exports of farmed coral, which would allow exporters to continue trading in the interim. Berny Achmad Subki from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry urged everyone involved to remain optimistic and open to wide and smooth communication.Coral Gardening - South Pacific - BBC Earth
He added that the ministry believed the ban was a necessary step in improving monitoring of the trade, as part of an ongoing, nationwide assessment of sustainable natural resource use.
Indonesia has established quotas for harvesting and exporting live coral in 11 regions. However, due to currently limited regulatory control and monitoring in these regions, there is a risk of overexploitation for species targeted for export. This potentially adds to stresses faced by coral reefs, such as rising sea temperatures brought on by climate change.
Thus, the effects of longer-term resynchronization could be increased recovery for reef ecosystems. In recent decades, advances in technology have allowed aquariums to become a more affordable hobby for an increasingly urbanized society to personally engage with aquatic life.
This provides a precious link between people and the need to conserve natural wonders in our oceans. Register here.Check out the official letter from the Indonesian government that the many of the exporters received today:.
Many businesses, both wholesale and retailers, will close because percent of their corals are from the golden triangle of Indonesia. More coral vendors will be forced to aquaculture and farm a variety of corals. If you are already doing so, you are ahead of the game. Kudos to you! Government wants more money. Just as we have garage shops and chop shops in U.
By eliminating export for everyone, they will be able to weed out the bad sorts in time. But no one knows the future. You saw Fiji and Hawaii recently. It may very well be possible for us to not see anything out of Indonesia for the foreseeable future. Is it all dark and gloomy though? I spoke with several people in the industry to hear what they had to say. I also spoke to Kris Cline of Carolina Aquatics, a premier coral wholesale facility located in North Carolina who told me this:. This could make it very hard for many businesses here in the US to maintain if they have not diversified enough to be able to lose a major supply of livestock and still cover all expenses.
We have been working on our in house farm for a while now but we are not where we want to be yet. I also reached out to Lou Schiavo of World Wide Corals for a comment and this is what he had to say about this situation:. Now that I got a feel for things from the US side, I reached out to Vincent Chalias of Bali Aquarium who is an major exporter in Bali that is directly impacted by this to get his thoughts and perspective. Sounds like politics are in the works on this matter at the moment.
I hope that people will take note of this and start doing more coral farming and aquaculture for self-sustainable livelihood.