Victories come through perseverance and Reef Builders is delighted to learn that after six long years, Fijian corals will be available again to be sold in America. We contacted the Godfather of Fijian aquaculture, Walt Smith, to get the facts and to find out what will be available:
“Yes, I can finally say that this is true,” Walt Smith told Reef Builders. “After a long struggle of 6+ years (and very good lawyers), we are finally able to ship our full range of corals of about 60 different species, some covering common genera, and basically, we will be shipping the same varieties as we once did.”
“Our first shipment is due to be shipped next week. This has taken several weeks to get the systems stocked and the corals conditioned but we are finally ready.”
“CITES published our official quota on December 4th, 2023, and then again on January 18 for 2024. All corals are collected sustainably from the wild and we also have our farmed corals available as well.”
Fiji is famed for its hard corals and after a recent revision, it is also the only home of the true Acropora tenuis, with Indonesian tenuis being renamed Acropora bifaria, and Western Australian tenuis renamed Acropora kenti. But it also produces some sublime soft corals including the sought-after Fiji Yellow Leather Coral, Sarcophyton elegans.
With Hawaiian saltwater fish still shut down and partial Australian coral bans still in place in the UK and Europe this is a great win for the industry, and we can’t wait to see the Fijian fruits of Walt Smith’s 35-year labor in LFS coral flats and people’s reef tanks again.