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of health certificates necessary to export all corals beginning back in May, the Indonesian Fisheries Ministry has rescinded this order.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.
The old saying ‘you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone’ seems to really apply here and thankfully we have a second chance to really treasure and appreciate how special and valuable imported corals are, be they wild collected or cultured.
Below is an official translated statement from the Indonesian Corals, Shell and Fish Ornamental Association (AKKII) with our own emphasis added.
“Indonesian Coral and Anemone Ban has been lifted. 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.
So far there haven’t been many regulation changes, but we can expect some changes to happen very soon. 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. But it’s great news that it has been lifted, and we can enjoy once more the beauty of Indonesian corals.
Nevertheless, it’s time for this industry to stop taking these corals for granted, and accept their real value. We should now change our perception that we can’t get these corals as many as we want, for ever, and do the right things in order to not give bullets to the peoples trying to shut us down. These regulations surrounding this industry must be improved and followed, so those only responsible stakeholders are allowed to work, for the benefit of all. Our industry must self regulate so the peoples that are doing the right thing don’t suffer because of few, ready for anything players.
We would like to thank the tremendous work, done by the Indonesian Corals, Shell and Fish Ornamental Association (AKKII), and 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.
This is just the beginning of their work, as now the work to make sure this doesn’t happen lay ahead. 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.”