After a few days of euphoria with everyone thinking that the unlimited supply of cheap maricultured coral from Indonesia is back we are feeling a bit hungover. We tried to communicate the message that things would be different in last week’s update, but it seems many folks have missed the point in their lust for aquarium corals.
THE INDONESIAN MARICULTURE INDUSTRY IS CHANGED FOREVER!
What is happening in these first few months of reopening coral exports is that the live coral exporter industry in Indonesia will be on a sort of probation for the first few months, something like a ‘soft start’.
A new application and inspection system:
A new inspection procedure will be implemented for coral exports in a few months. For the time being companies can only ship what was approved by the fisheries in the beginning of December audit. So in short, the regulations governing coral mariculture and export became a lot tougher, with a new layer of oversight in the supply chain; The Indonesian Fisheries Ministry.
A new set of documentation and a new set of rules are now in place – Each coral shipment destined for export needs to be registered online five days before the shipping date. Then it will be inspected two days before shipping and the inspectors will need to issue a recommendation letter that will let quarantines release the Health Certificate needed for each shipment to be cleared through customs.
All existing coral farms will be more regularly audited and moving corals from one farm to another will be a lot more difficult. Starting a new farm will be a lot more complicated, farming a new species will require very difficult to get documents, and getting a license to collect fresh, new or original broodstock is now almost impossible –all of this is on top of a preexisting, really complicated process.
So what does that mean?
- CITES export permit will be more limited and a lot more difficult to get so there won’t be enough for everyone. A lot of farms won’t have much to ship for few month until they start producing again.
- Prices are going to be a lot higher than they used to be as supply is limited, and cost of producing and exporting have gone through the roof.
- Considering prices of certain items, it will be very tempting for some to do stupid things and take shortcuts but stakeholders in the coral farming industry need to understand, that this will jeopardize the whole industry again, and everyone will pay again for it, if it happens.
Every company involved in the live coral trade needs to completely forget what Indo corals used to be like because after the hiatus it’s a complete, NEW industry that is emerging from the suspension.
Issue of cultured soft corals, cultured live rock and anemones are still being discussed and not yet decided. But the good news is that the exporters that were complying with all the regulations, and have cites permit ready, can start shipping so it’s probable that some shipment will start going through beginning next week.