It’s been 3 weeks, since a new fisheries department minister was appointed in Indonesia. Under the former minister who was responsible for the ban, there’s hasn’t been any release of an official statement on the subject of the suspension of coral exports.
Since Mr Edhy Prabowo has been appointed Minister, the change of style and direction is pretty obvious. Last week, following a meeting with the Indonesian Coral and Shell exporter association (AKKII), the fisheries department issued a statement and even if it doesn’t give real clear opening dates, it gives quite a clear idea on the vision for the ornamental coral industry of the new minister.
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.
“I have to listen to input from various sides. There may be groups who disagree with the trade in ornamental corals, or there may be groups who feel disadvantaged. We must be careful. The issue of living coral is my focus and will be resolved soon”
He express his concerns about the way to differentiate wild corals from maricultured ones. and concluded the meeting saying: “The spirit of the KKP (Fisheries department) had pushed the nation’s economy to a very high level. 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. But hopefully it will not be long“, he concluded.
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!