OFI and Indonesian Industry prepare for CITES Marine Aquarium Collection Workshop

OFI President has met with Indonesian OFI members,  AKKII (Asosiasi Koral Kerang dan Ikan Hias Indonesia) and INAFISH (Indonesian Ornamental Fish Exporters Association to discuss the current Coral Export Suspension and the recently announced CITES Marine Aquarium Fish Collection Workshop. While the scope and nature of the workshop is not yet confirmed, industry is already beginning preparation to ensure their interests are protected.

Industry want to work with CITES to arrive at a science-based solution to managing the marine fish collection and giving a clear pathway to industry for a sustainable future to safeguard the many thousands of people employed by this sector across Indonesia and other source countries. During our recent trip to Indonesia to attend Nusatic 2019, we had the opportunity to meet with Minister and government officials to discuss the ongoing coral export suspension in Indonesia, as well as the upcoming CITES workshop on wild collection of marine ornamental fish. We also met discussed the issue with AKKII and INAFISH members, who have expressed their willingness to provide data and information on the marine ornamental collection industry in Indonesia which is the world’s largest exporter of ornamental fish. OFI President Shane Willis said “the Indonesian industry understands how important it is to ensure regulators have the correct information on which to make decisions regarding their livelihoods. Recent experiences with the coral export suspension that resulted in and estimated 10 to 12,000 jobs lost at  cost of approximately $36 million in export revenue highlights the devastation on sustainable livelihoods poorly conceived decisions based on emotion and not facts can have on people's livelihoods”.

OFI is working with members in Indonesia to develop a strategy to providing data to assist in the CITES workshop to help ensure science-based decisions are made on current data. It is hoped that with this level of cooperation, industry will be given a fair hearing by CITES and that decisions are data driven rather than emotionally driven. OFI will also be undertaking similar work with members from other source countries during early 2020.

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