Coral trade quota

Hoeksema, B.W. Hoeksema at
Tue Jan 26 03:46:54 EST 1999

Dear Coral-listers,

Re: the information given by Gayatri Lilley,

Having checked corals collected for trade in Indonesia before export and
those that have arrived at Schiphol
international airport for import by the aquarium industry, I realized how
clever professional coral collectors are
in finding corals with much "fleshy" tissue that usually dwell at greater
depths (20-30 m), such as 
those belonging to Catalaphyllia jardinae. In their natural environment
these corals do not reach very high population 
densities. These corals usually live as large calices semi-burried in the
sandy bottom underneath reef slopes. They are not 
colonies which can easily be chopped into pieces. I would be surprised if
annual quota such as 75,000 ever can be reached. 
To me it seems to be a hypothetical number to maintain a regulation that
only exists on paper. If I am wrong, I would be 
even less amused.


Dr. Bert W. Hoeksema
Co-ordinator Sea Research (Fauna Malesiana Marina)
National Museum of Natural History Naturalis
P.O. Box 9517
2300 RA  Leiden
The Netherlands
Tel.: +31.71.5687631
Fax: +31.71.5687666
E-mail: Hoeksema at

> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
> Van:	RG Lilley [SMTP:rglilley at]
> Verzonden:	maandag 25 januari 1999 16:38
> Aan:	coral-list at
> Onderwerp:	Re: Indonesian coral trade
> ----------
> > From: RG Lilley <rglilley at>
> > To: coral-list at
> > Subject: Indonesian coral trade
> > Date: Jumat, 22 Januari, 1999 17:30
> > 
> > 
> > The Indonesian Scientific Authority for CITES just recommended a
> collection
> > quota of over one million pieces of corals for this year (1999). It is
> > slightly more that last year's quota. I am sure that will make the
> traders
> > happy, bearing in mind that for every one million pieces exported,
> perhaps
> > as much as ten times that amount is extracted from the reefs (we are
> still
> > talking about live corals for the aquarium trade) and dies before it is
> > exported, because of bad handling. 
> > 
> > Catalaphyllia jardinei, the species which I heard is banned from
> entering
> > the UK this  year, has been given an export quota of 75,000 pieces for
> this
> > year, by the Indonesian authorities.  The guidelines for the coral trade
> > were prepared last year, with the hope that this document will somehow
> slow
> > down the rate of corals coming out from Indonesia. But it seems that the
> > guidelines have not been implemented by the authorities. The guidelines
> > were prepared using a participatory approach, and were agreed to be
> > implemented by the major stakeholders. The traders were the ones who
> were
> > very enthusiastic and willing to give the guidelines a try. But, I
> guess,
> > business is business. 
> > 
> > There are strong arguments among the decision makers that Indonesia
> needs
> > more and more cash, especially during this economic crisis. Yes,
> > eco-labelling as a market force is a good idea, but who will enforce the
> > principles within this country?. Oh well, I am too pessimistic. But, I
> am
> > here, trying to convince and motivate people to care and take
> > responsibility for their environment. And it seems that I am bashing my
> > head against a brick wall. There are intentions to try coral farming,
> but
> > will they be economically viable? If the authorities are still willing
> to
> > allow the export of corals collected from the wild, why should anybody
> want
> > to invest  in coral farming? Clearly there are no incentives (rather
> like
> > tree planting). However, even a total trade ban would not address the
> real
> > problem here - destruction of the reefs by coral miners, bombers,
> cyanide,
> > and so on.
> > 
> > Gayatri Lilley
> > Jl. Pinang II Kav 11
> > Jakarta 12450, Indonesia
> > 
> > e-mail : rglilley at
> > 

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