The reef aquarium industry has been understandably on edge these past few months, with tangible uncertainties about the future of marine life exports from Hawaii and Fiji as of late. Today, an ambiguously worded, and poorly translated, message from the Indonesia Ministry of Fisheries really got the aquarium industry worked up but this whole situation has been blown out of proportion.
This is not the first time there will be a confusion regarding international memos about marinelife trading, dealing, and exporting, but let’s go ahead and get this out of the way – there is NO ban on coral exports from Indonesia. This whole situation is the result of administrative friction between two different regulatory agencies within the Indonesian government.
There has been a misunderstanding between the Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry – the ministry of Fisheries is responsible for issuing health certificates, necessary for domestic and international transportation of marine life products, while Forestry is responsible for the management of CITES permits. Fisheries is waiting clarification from the ministry of Forestry in order to issue the obligatory health certificates.
This is just a technical issue between two government agencies and again, there is NO BAN on the export of Indonesian corals, fish, or marinelife. AKKII, the association of coral, seashell & ornamental fish exporter association of Indonesia is working diligently with both agencies to resolve the matter as soon as possible and we expect a positive outcome in a matter of several days or at most a couple of weeks.