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Harvest, Export Of Live Coral Now Banned: Ministry

Harvest, Export Of Live Coral Now Banned: Ministry
Ocean Champion and Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau.
December 30
09:15 2017

The Ministry of Fish­eries has announced that it has banned the harvest and export of live coral come 2018.

The announcement comes after it had officially joined the Coral Alliance in Bonn, Germany, in November this year.

The ministry has banned all harvesting, purchasing, sales and export of live coral and aquarium rock also known as live rock, coral rock or fossil coral as of the 28th of December, 2017, as a Govern­ment initiative to assist the regeneration of coral.

The Minister for Fisher­ies, Semi Koroilavesau, confirmed this saying this was part of the country’s Presidency of COP23, which launched the Ocean Pathway as a Climate Change initia­tive.

“We are banning the export of our live corals, unless if they are bred by the export­ers, but the breaking of cor­als from the coral reef and regenerating it for export is banned from 2018,” he said.

“Fiji did not sign or join in Malta as Cabinet had not formalised the agreement but at COP23 in Bonn we an­nounced our agreement to join.

“Our corals have suffered greatly from Ocean Acidifi­cation and coral bleaching due to pollution and increase in sea temperature and this is however the overall effect of climate change,” he said.

According to a statement from the Ministry all compa­nies are to adhere to the fol­lowing:

All harvesting, purchas­ing and sales of live rocks and live coral are now banned, and no export per­mits would be processed by the ministry.

The Convention in Inter­national Trade in Endan­gered Species (CITES) Scien­tific Committee (SC) will be submitting to the Manage­ment Authority (MA) on 7th January 2018 that Live Coral and Live Rock is given a zero quota for 2018.

The Ministry of Fisher­ies and both the CITES MA and SC would be supporting the development of other sustainable options, par­ticularly the development of farmed or cultured coral.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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