Indonesia to replace conservation efforts for aquarium favourite cardinalfish

  • Indonesia’s fisheries ministry says it’s engaged on a brand new conservation highway map for Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni), a well-liked species within the aquarium commerce globally that’s discovered solely within the waters across the nation’s Banggai Archipelago.
  • The fish is caught in giant numbers — an estimated 500,000 to 900,000 people yearly — and is exported primarily to the US and Europe.
  • The up to date conservation plan will consider the earlier five-year plan for the cardinalfish, and use this to tell the nationwide technique for the subsequent 5 years, the ministry stated.
  • The cardinalfish’s habitat, the Banggai Archipelago, is taken into account to be within the coronary heart of the Pacific Coral Triangle, which is dwelling to the best range of corals and reef fishes wherever on the planet.

JAKARTA — The Indonesian authorities is drafting an up to date five-year nationwide technique to guard an endemic reef fish species that’s common within the world aquarium commerce.

Indonesia’s fisheries ministry stated not too long ago it was engaged on a brand new motion plan to preserve the wild inhabitants of the Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni), a industrial coral fish discovered solely within the waters across the Banggai Archipelago off the jap coast of the nation’s Sulawesi Island. The fish has been harvested from the wild and closely traded amongst aquarium fanatics world wide for the reason that mid-Nineties, with most exports going to the US and Europe.

“The population [of the Banggai cardinalfish] is relatively small, that’s why, to protect the sustainability of the species, the ministry has designated the fish as limited protected, its habitat as a regional conservation area, and made it the national mascot for ornamental fish,” M. Firdaus Agung, the fisheries ministry’s performing director of marine biodiversity conservation, stated in a press launch published Sept. 20.

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Banggai cardinalfish. Picture courtesy of NOAA Fisheries.
Banggai cardinalfish amongst anemones and sea urchins. Picture by Christopel Paino/Mongabay Indonesia.

The up to date technique will consider the Indonesian authorities’s conservation efforts for the cardinalfish and its habitat from 2017-2021, and lay out the nationwide technique for the subsequent 5 years, the ministry stated. Overfishing, damaging fishing, habitat loss, and climate-induced warming ocean have contributed to the population decline. The unsustainable commerce over the previous few a long time specifically prompted the U.S. and the EU to push, unsuccessfully, in 2007 and 2016 to limit the species’ commerce beneath CITES, the worldwide wildlife commerce conference. The final effort resulted in selections that tasked Indonesia with making certain the sustainability of worldwide commerce of the cardinalfish by implementing conservation and administration measures.

The Banggai cardinalfish is captured in giant portions — an estimated 500,000 to 900,000 individuals annually. It was among the many prime 10 most imported aquarium fish into the U.S. in 2008 and 2011, with wild-caught imports into the nation between 2005 and 2011 starting from roughly 118,000 to 160,000 people yearly, according to a NOAA report. The report additionally confirmed that Indonesia was the one supply of wild-caught Banggai cardinalfish.

Indonesian legislation already imposes stringent licensing necessities for the harvest, transport and commerce of cardinalfish. The fisheries ministry in 2021 additionally restricted wild harvests of the fish within the Banggai Archipelago to 2 transient home windows — February to March and October to November — which are the peaks of the fish’s spawning period. Captive breeding of the fish additionally happens in a number of websites, together with Ambon and Bali, coupled with restocking efforts within the wild, however the wild inhabitants stays threatened.

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The species is listed as endangered on the IUCN Pink Listing. NOAA classifies it as threatened, and it’s the primary marine aquarium fish to have change into a global CITES situation on account of mounting issues of overharvest resulting in its potential extinction. The decorative fish commerce contributes considerably to Indonesia’s economic system, with exports valued at around $34 million annually. The quantity in home commerce for the Banggai cardinalfish is reported at between 1.1 million and 1.4 million people, with every promoting for round 20,000 to 25,000 rupiah ($1.30-$1.70).

Banggai cardinafish in a coral reef. Picture by Christopel Paino/Mongabay Indonesia.

On the newest CITES Animal Committee in June 2021, it was agreed that Indonesia would proceed to observe the commerce with out the necessity for any worldwide restrictions.

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“This is good news and demonstrates that CITES recognises that species listing is not the only solution available to ensure the sustainability of trade,” Dominic Whitmee, chief govt of the Decorative Aquatic Commerce Affiliation, stated in a statement in June 2021.

The cardinalfish’s habitat, the Banggai Archipelago, is taken into account to be within the coronary heart of the Pacific Coral Triangle, which is dwelling to the best range of corals and reef fishes wherever on the planet. The Indonesian authorities in 2019 established the Banggai Dalaka Marine Protected Space in an effort to preserve the cardinalfish and its habitat.

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Basten Gokkon is a senior workers author for Indonesia at Mongabay. Discover him on Twitter @bgokkon.

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Coastal Ecosystems, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Governance, Illegal Fishing, Marine, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Overfishing, Protected Areas, Regulations, Saltwater Fish, Sustainability

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